Sales dip in Hancock’s second quarter

BALDWYN, Miss. -- After suffering through a slower-than-normal spring/summer selling season, Hancock Fabrics expects to pick up steam starting this fall through two major milestones -- the launch of its “extreme makeover” re-fixturing and merchandise enhancement project at stores, and the opening of a new and larger prototype store in Tupelo, Miss.

The company reported during its second quarter earnings call today that by the second week of September all of its 446 units will have undergone the extreme makeover process. Since implementing phase one of this makeover process in June, Hancock has shifted its emphasis from strictly merchandising issues to a combination of merchandising and operational matters.

The company reported sales for the second quarter decreased 7.3 percent, to $83.2 million from $89.8 million last year. Hancock also saw a net loss of $5.4 million compared with a loss of $2.7 million last year.

The company stated that the earnings comparison with last year was negatively affected by an increase in the government’s Producer Price Index that the company uses to measure inflation in inventories, which resulted in higher LIFO charge to cost of sales this year.

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