West 49 Inc. reports Back-to-School sales

    
    - Core business holds its ground during back-to-school period -

    Toronto Stock Exchange Symbol: WXX
    

BURLINGTON, ON, Sept. 30 /CNW/ - West 49 Inc. (TSX: WXX) (the "Company"), Canada's leading action sport retailer, today reported sales results for its fiscal 2010 Back-to-School selling period. Consolidated net sales for the seven-week period ended September 19, 2009 decreased 3.2% to $39.9 million from $41.2 million for the same period a year earlier.

Consolidated comparable store sales for the seven-week period were down 5.6%; however, comparable stores in the Company's core West 49 banner equaled last year's sales performance despite the challenging retail environment and unseasonably warm weather.

"We strategically stocked our stores earlier to prepare for what ended up being a longer Back-to-School selling period as many schools across Canada began up to several weeks earlier than last year," said Sam Baio, Chief Executive Officer of West 49 Inc. "To reflect the longer selling period and therefore provide the most relevant comparison of our Back-to-School sales performance, we have reported a seven-week year-over-year period. We are not reporting our traditional five-week selling period, as previously indicated, because it excludes a significant proportion of the earlier Back-to-School activity, which makes our traditional five-week period incomplete and not relevant. Importantly, although our consolidated comparable store sales were down for the seven-week period, our core West 49 banner held its ground. That said, the retail environment remains difficult, especially in the girls apparel, and consumer spending continues to be very volatile."

About West 49 Inc.

West 49 Inc. is a leading Canadian specialty retailer of fashion and apparel, footwear, accessories and equipment related to the youth action sports lifestyle. The Company's stores, which are primarily mall-based, carry a variety of high-performance, premium brand name and private label products that fulfill the lifestyle needs of identified target markets, primarily tweens and teens. The Company currently operates 133 stores in nine provinces, under the banners West 49, Billabong, Off The Wall, Amnesia/Arsenic and D-Tox, and also operates online at www.boardzone.com. The Company's common shares are listed on the Toronto Stock Exchange under the symbol WXX. The Company has approximately 64 million shares outstanding.

Forward-Looking Statements

Information in this news release that is not current or historical factual information may constitute forward-looking information. Implicit in this information, particularly in respect of future operating results and economic performance of the Company are assumptions regarding projected revenue, gross margin and expenses. The assumptions, although considered reasonable by the Company at the time of preparation, may prove to be incorrect. Investors are cautioned that forward-looking information involves known and unknown risks, uncertainties and numerous other factors that may cause actual results, performance or achievements to be materially different from any future results, performance or achievements expressed or implied by the forward-looking information. The following includes some of the factors that could cause actual results, performance or achievements to differ materially from those expressed in or implied by any forward-looking information made by or on behalf of the Company: competition, changes in demographic trends, changes in consumer preferences and discretionary spending patterns, changes in business and economic conditions, human resource matters, legal proceedings, challenges to intellectual property rights, and changes in laws, regulations, and accounting policies and practices. The foregoing list of factors is not exhaustive. In formulating the forward-looking information contained herein, management has assumed that business and economic conditions affecting the Company's operations will continue substantially in the ordinary course, including without limitation with respect to industry conditions, general levels of economic activity, laws, regulations, taxes, foreign exchange rates, minimum wage rates and interest rates, weather, that there will be no outbreaks of disease or public safety issues, and that there will be no unplanned material changes in its facilities, equipment, supplies, with respect to relations with customers, suppliers, landlords and employees, or with respect to credit availability, among other things. These assumptions, although considered reasonable by management at the time of preparation, may prove to be incorrect. Accordingly, investors should not place undue reliance on forward-looking information. The sales figures reported in this news release are not necessarily indicative of, or meant to set an expectation for, sales performance for any other period other than that specified, nor are they necessarily indicative of, or meant to set an expectation for, any other financial performance measure of the Company. The Company includes in publicly available documents filed from time to time with securities commissions and the Toronto Stock Exchange, a thorough discussion of the risk factors that can cause anticipated outcomes to differ from actual outcomes. Forward-looking information is provided as of the date of this news release only, it should not be relied upon as of any other date, and the Company assumes no obligation to update or revise this information to reflect new events or circumstances, except as expressly required by law.

SOURCE WEST 49 INC.

For further information: For further information: Rhonda Biddix, Chief Financial Officer and Corporate Secretary, West 49 Inc., (905) 336-5454 ext. 224, E-mail: ir@west49.com; Trevor Heisler, Investor Relations, The Equicom Group Inc., (416) 815-0700 ext. 270, E-mail: theisler@equicomgroup.com

Organization Profile

WEST 49 INC.

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