Early Season Snowstorm Disrupts Halloween Holiday Business
DEDHAM, Mass., Nov 03, 2011 (BUSINESS WIRE) --
iParty Corp. (NYSE Amex: IPT - news), a party goods retailer, today
reported total company sales of $17.6 million for the calendar month of
October, 2011, a decrease of 11.1% compared to total company sales in
calendar October 2010.
Sal Perisano, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of iParty Corp.,
commented "On Saturday, October 28th, New England was struck
with a freak early season Nor'easter that deposited as much as 30 inches
of heavy snow onto our markets and caused widespread power outages for
our customers and certain of our stores. Eleven of our party stores and
one temporary Halloween store lost power and were temporarily closed.
Four of those stores were still closed as of Tuesday morning, November 1st.
Also as a consequence of the storm, Halloween trick or treating was
cancelled or postponed in many of the communities we serve. For those of
our stores that remained open through the storm and its aftermath,
Halloween season sales were significantly affected by the disruption
experienced by our customers as a result of the storm."
For the thirty-one day calendar month of October 2011, total company
sales were $17.6 million, compared to $19.8 million for the same period
in 2010. Sales at comparable stores for the calendar month decreased
12.8% compared to the same period in 2010.
For the five week fiscal month of October, which ended on October 29th,
total sales decreased by 11.4% compared to the same fiscal month period
in 2010. Sales at comparable stores decreased 13.0% for the October
fiscal month compared to the fiscal month of October 2010.
For the calendar year 2011 through October, total company sales were
$67.9 million, a 4.5% decrease compared to the same period in 2010.
Sales at comparable stores for this period decreased 7.2% compared to
the same period in 2010. For the forty-four week period through fiscal
October 2011, which ended on October 29th, total company
sales decreased by 4.1%, and sales at comparable stores decreased 6.6%
compared to the same period in 2010.
Mr. Perisano further stated "Historically, the last few days before
Halloween are our strongest sales dates of the year. There is no
question that this storm arrived at the worst possible time of the year
- on our busiest day. Its aftermath remains evident throughout the
Northeast where it has affected millions of people. Despite the impact
of the storm, we saw improvements in our temporary Halloween stores this
season and we were pleased with the performance of our new e-commerce
site. Finally, we are proud of the resilience and dedication shown by
our store associates, who reacted swiftly and effectively to serve as
many customers as possible in the face of a very difficult situation. We
were knocked down by this storm, but by no means knocked out, as we now
proceed to prepare our business for the holiday season and beyond."
About iParty Corp.
Headquartered in Dedham, Massachusetts, iParty Corp. is a party goods
retailer that operates 52 iParty retail stores in New England and
Florida and an internet site (www.iparty.com)
for costume and related goods and party planning. iParty's aim is to
make throwing a successful event both stress-free and fun. With an
extensive assortment of party supplies and costumes in our stores and
available at our online store, iParty offers consumers a sophisticated,
yet fun and easy-to-use, resource to help them customize any party,
including birthday bashes, Easter get-togethers, graduation parties,
summer barbecues and, of course, Halloween. In addition to the extensive
assortment of costume and related merchandise available through iParty's
internet site our web site focuses on increasing customer visits to our
retail stores by highlighting the ever changing store product assortment
for all occasions and seasons and featuring sales flyers, enter-to-win
contests, monthly coupons and ideas and themes offering consumers an
easy and fun approach to any party. iParty aims to offer reliable,
time-tested knowledge of party-perfect trends, and superior customer
service to ensure convenient and comprehensive merchandise selections
for every occasion. Please visit our site at www.iparty.com.
Safe harbor statement under the Private Securities Litigation Reform
Act of 1995
This press release contains forward-looking statements within the
meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995 as
contained in Section 27A of the Securities Act of 1933 and Section 21E
of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934. You can identify these
statements by the fact that they use words such as "anticipate,"
"believe," "estimate," "expect," "intend," "project," "plan," "outlook,"
and other words and terms of similar meaning. These statements involve a
number of risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to
differ materially from the potential results discussed in the
forward-looking statements. Among the factors that could cause actual
results and outcomes to differ materially from those contained in such
forward-looking statements are the following: changes in consumer
confidence and consumer spending patterns, particularly those impacting
the New England region and Florida, which may result from, among other
factors, rising or sustained high levels of unemployment, access to
consumer credit, mortgage foreclosures, credit market turmoil, declines
in the stock market, general feelings and expectations about the overall
economy, and unseasonable weather; the successful implementation of our
growth and marketing strategies; our ability to access our existing
credit line or to obtain additional financing, if required, on
acceptable terms and conditions; rising commodity prices, especially oil
and gas prices; effect of Chinese inflation on our suppliers and product
pricing; our relationships with our third party suppliers; the failure
of our inventory management system and our point of sale system;
competition from other party supply stores and stores that merchandise
and market party supplies, including big discount retailers, dollar
store chains, and temporary Halloween merchandisers; risks related to
e-commerce; the availability of retail store space on reasonable lease
terms; and compliance with evolving federal securities, accounting, and
stock exchange rules and regulations applicable to publicly-traded
companies listed on the NYSE Amex. For a more detailed discussion of
risks and uncertainties which could cause actual results to differ from
those contained in the forward-looking statements, see Item 1A, "Risk
Factors" of iParty's most recently filed Annual Report on Form 10-K for
the fiscal year ended December 25, 2010 and our other periodic reports
filed with the SEC. iParty is providing this information as of this
date, and does not undertake to update the information included in this
press release, whether as a result of new information, future events or
SOURCE: iParty Corp.
David Robertson, 781-355-3770