May 10, 2011, 5:01 PM

Build-A-Bear sales hibernate in Q1

E-commerce sales grow about 1.8% in the first quarter of 2011.

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Build-A-Bear Workshop Inc., a retailer of customizable stuffed animals, reported weak sales in Q1 2011.

For the quarter ended April 2, Build-A-Bear, No. 494 in the Internet Retailer Top 500 Guide , reported:

  • E-commerce sales increased about 1.8% to $2.87 million from $2.82 million in the same quarter of 2010.
  • Total sales decreased about 5.3% to $96 million from $101.4 million.
  • Comparable-store sales declined 8.5% overall, with a 9.3% decline in comparable-store sales in North America and a 4.1% dip in Europe.
  • Net loss was $2.3 million compared to net income of $1.7 million in the same quarter of 2010.

Internet Retailer calculates the web accounted for 3% of total sales compared with 2.8% in the first quarter of 2010.

“The decline in our comparable-stores sales and net loss in the first quarter reflects seasonal impacts,” says chairman and chief executive Maxine Clark.

On a brighter note, Build-A-Bear is gaining followers on Facebook. Among retailers with more than 100,000 Likes, Build-A-Bear Workshop in March had the largest percentage increase as its number of followers grew 146.2% to 840,931 from 341,536, according to the ChannelAdvisor Facebook Commerce Index. That growth was spurred by the retailer offering special products to Facebook fans, heavily promoting the page on its e-commerce site and e-mails, and giving away $100 gift cards to select followers, the company says.

 

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