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Zumiez to offer lower-priced goods


Everett, Wash. Zumiez CEO Rick Brooks told shareholders Wednesday that “This is the toughest economic environment I've ever worked in." As a result, he said, the company is working with vendors to negotiate a lineup of lower-priced merchandise to put into stores for the upcoming back-to-school shopping season.

Currently, the company’s private-label brands account for about 15% of sales, a percentage that won’t increase, said Brooks, despite the profit potential.

For its fiscal first quarter, ended May 2, Zumiez posted a loss of $1.7 million, compared with a profit of $1.4 million a year ago. It is projecting another loss for the second quarter.

Brooks said Zumiez will open 36 new stores in 2009 and a handful in 2010. The company opened 58 stores in 2008.

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