Los Angeles -- Sport Chalet reported a loss for the second quarter of fiscal 2014 of $3.0 million, compared to net income of $0.8 million in the year-ago period. Sales decreased 5.2% to $86.7 million from $91.5 million, with a 2.5% comparable store sales decrease. Among the few bright spots was a 32.4% increase in online sales, and a better-than-expected performance by the chain's new store concept.
"Our second quarter had a disappointing start, as sales trends were weak in July and August, but turned positive in September on a comparable basis," said Craig Levra, chairman and CEO. "Sales trends have continued to improve as we progressed into fall, and our Team Sales Division is also beginning to move into positive territory."
In June, the retailer opened its "next generation store" in downtown Los Angeles. Levra said the store has delivered "significantly better than average sales per square foot and gross margin than the chain as a whole."
"The flexible store format allows us to continually adapt the highly tailored merchandise mix to appeal to our downtown customer base, and early results have exceeded our expectations," he said. "With additional capital, we believe there is enormous sales growth potential in rolling out this next generation format across our existing store base through a strategic remodel program, and opening new next generation stores in both our core markets and new geographies."