West 49 Inc. reports holiday sales



    
    Toronto Stock Exchange Symbol: WXX

    - Comparable store sales growth of 1.3% amidst challenging economy -
    

    BURLINGTON, ON, Jan. 14 /CNW/ - West 49 Inc. (TSX: WXX) (the "Company"),
Canada's leading action sport retailer, today reported sales results for its
fiscal 2009 Holiday selling season. Net sales for the five week period ended
January 3, 2009 increased 1.7% to $34.9 million compared to $34.3 million for
the five weeks ended January 5, 2008. The higher sales were driven primarily
by growth in comparable store sales of 1.3% on a consolidated basis.
Comparable store sales for the Company's core West 49 banner were up slightly
at 0.1%.
    "When the consumer was ready to spend, the exceptional strength of our
brands and our competitive pricing brought them to us," said Sam Baio, Chief
Executive Officer of West 49 Inc. "After a dismal November and a poor start to
the Holiday selling season, we had an extraordinary final two weeks in the
period, including the week of Christmas and Boxing Week. Despite the
challenging economic environment, our merchandising and pricing strategies
yielded growth in comparable store sales."
    For the fourth quarter-to-date, or the ten week period ended January 3,
2009, sales were down 0.5% to $54.8 million from $55.1 million for the same
period last year. Quarter-to-date consolidated comparable store sales were
down 0.9% compared to the year before, with the West 49 banner's comparable
store sales declining by 1.7%. West 49 Inc. expects to report its fiscal 2009
audited year end financial results in April.

    About West 49 Inc.

    West 49 Inc. is a leading Canadian multi-banner specialty retailer of
fashion and apparel, footwear, accessories and equipment related to music,
youth culture and action sports. 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. As at January 3, 2009, the Company
operated 134 stores in nine provinces, under the banners West 49, Billabong,
Off The Wall, Amnesia/Arsenic, D-Tox and Duke's Northshore, as well as two
ecommerce sites, www.shop.west49.com and 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, including without limitation accounting
adjustments and changes in accounting policies and methods. Accordingly,
investors should not place undue reliance on forward-looking information. 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.





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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