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Perfect storm dents Party City’s performance

The modest sales decline Party City reported for the five week period ended November wasn’t all that bad considering the unfavorable circumstances the company faced.

Sales declined 1.4% to $358 million and same store sale declined 0.6% at permanent stores and 11.9% at temporary locations, the company said.

Heading into the five week period that included Halloween, Party City knew comparisons to the prior year would be challenging because Halloween fell on a Wednesday, the worst possible day for parties and entertaining. Then, to make matters worse, Hurricane Sandy hit the heavily populated markets in the northeast and made Halloween celebrations the furthest thing from people’s minds

Without the impact of Hurricane Sandy, the company estimated its sales would have been $5 million higher than the prior year instead of $5 million lower. The picture looked much better in Canada where e–commerce sales and Party City store sales increased by 5.8% and 5.4%, respectively, as there was no meaningful impact from Hurricane Sandy.

Party City operated 594 stores in the U.S. and Canada, 421 temporary stores and 13 smaller outlet stores during the five week period.

 

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