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Today's news...4/20/05

APRIL 20, 2005 -- Report Says Oklahoma City Bass Pro Not Living Up To Expectations

A report in the Oklahoma City Journal Record threw cold water on the revenue expectations of a Bass Pro Shops branch there. Writer Brian Brus noted Bass Pro Shops branch reported sales of $33.5 million in 2004, about $5 million short of earlier projections, officials reported. Making it worse, December comp sales were off 20%.
"We had hoped that Bass Pro sales would be what the consultant projected," JoeVan Bullard, executive director of the Oklahoma City Urban Renewal Authority, told Brus. The company reports its monthly sales figures to the authority. Bullard called the low numbers "discouraging."

"The goal overall of creating more retail traffic in the Bricktown area, that is coming along," he insisted. In mid-2003, the city council approved the city's funding of an additional $1.7 million to cover Bass Pro's construction costs, modifying the agreement so that Bass Pro would pay back the money through an increase of 8% in its annual lease rate, from $610,000 to $710,000. The adjustment brought the city's share of investment to about $19 million. Brus pointed out that a report prepared in 2002 by a consultant projected annual sales of $38.5 million and annual growth of 2.5% for the first four years.


Wolverine Posts Record Sales, Earnings

Wolverine World Wde achieved record 1Q revenue, totaling $245.2 million, a 9.0% increase. EPS grew to 27¢, above estimates of 24¢ and well above last year's 20¢. "This year is off to a record start as we achieved a strong double-digit earnings increase for the first quarter of 2005," stated Timothy O'Donovan, CEO. "Building on the momentum generated by the company's earnings performance in 2004, our first quarter results were driven by our strong global brands and product innovation resulting in accelerated consumer demand for the company's products. Operating improvements occurred throughout the business with Europe contributing significantly to the revenue and earnings increase. Merrell, which continued to be our leading sales and profit driver, recorded double-digit revenue and earnings gains with the strongest increases coming from the US business and the success of Merrell Continuum."


ispo Summer Seeks More International Visitors

With the current domestic market being more than tough, the organizers of ispo summer 05 (July 3-5) have put together a comprehensive package to acquire international visitors.

The Key Account Program, which is being managed in collaboration with W.L. Gore, ensures high quality contact with retailers. Up to 1,000 retailers from throughout Europe take part in the comprehensive program and will obtain information about the different product segments in Munich.

Road shows through Spain, France, Italy, Russia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Ukraine and Japan will provide information to retailers, the media, associations and companies on site about ispo in Munich, as well as ispo china and ispo Russia. Together with partners from the respective countries, the organizers are touring through several cities and consequently strengthening contacts to the industry and expanding the international ispo network further.

ispo has again increased individual support for its customers internationally. In addition to Dieter Tremp, who heads the ispo competence center in the US as senior associate, and Martin Kössler, who is responsible for the ispo competence center Northern Europe, the staff for the French market is also being enlarged. Thomas Grenot with a staff in Munich will support the French exhibitors, trade visitors, media and associations. ispo has again increased individual support for its customers internationally. In addition to Dieter Tremp, who heads the ispo competence center in the US as senior associate, and Martin Kössler, who is responsible for the ispo competence center Northern Europe, the staff for the French market is also being enlarged. Thomas Grenot with a staff in Munich will support the French exhibitors, trade visitors, media and associations. Alain Sevellec is an ispo team. He founded the board sports trade fair Glissexpo in 1990 and put on the urban show FoXecs in 2003 and 2004. He will be responsible for bringing retailers from the board sports and urban sports segments to Munich. In Italy, Federica Bonaldi and Monica Galante at the official foreign representative office in Verona will support visitors from Italy and are actively expanding the existing database.

Thanks to close networking with VDS, Sport 2000 and Intersport, efforts at acquiring more visitors from Germany are also being increased. The trainee project, which has reaped success for many years, makes it possible for trainees to visit ispo and take part in training programs of various partners from the industry. The goal of this promotion initiative is to strengthen retailers with employees, who receive information and motivation at an early stage, as well as to provide skills to the buyers, sellers and entrepreneurs of tomorrow for later specialist and management tasks.

Of course, ispo summer 05 is being promoted with increased efforts via the media. In addition to the traditional media link-ups and press conferences in Germany and other countries, as well as various supplements in collaboration with media partners, the organizers are again publishing the trade fair's own ispo news preview in German and English. The magazine with a print run of approximately 100,000 prepares people optimally for a trade fair visit and contains product highlights, interviews, shop and company portraits as well as information dealing with all aspects of ispo summer 05 including events, summits, seminars, workshops, etc. In addition, the ispo newsletter provides information weekly per e-mail to more than 70,000 retailers, brands, distributors and media worldwide about current developments in the branch.


Perelman's Suit Vs Morgan Stanley Proceeding

Ron Perelman is suing Morgan Stanley over the way it handled the sale of Coleman, which he once owned, to Sunbeam. The latter paid Perelman $680 million in stock, cash and assumed debt in 1998. Sunbeam went bankrupt in 2001. The stock rapidly dwindled when it was revealed that Sunbeam was cooking the books. Perelman is suing Morgan Stanley for $2.7 billion in a Florida court. He claims he sold Coleman based on financial statement supplied by Sunbeam and Morgan Stanley. It's worried about the case and has increased its reserve against losses from $100 million to $360 million. Morgan Stanley is trying to get the judge removed from the case, saying she’s biased.


SportsArt Fitness reached an agreement with Lucille Roberts Health Clubs to become a major cardiovascular equipment supplier for the New York-based chain. The three-year agreement is worth in excess of $1.1 million. The company also plans to utilize the equipment in their newly launched franchise concept, Lucille Roberts Fitness Express. Featured products will include SportsArt Fitness 6310 treadmills, E8300 elliptical machines and C5150 recumbent bicycles.


Thanx to its acquisitions, Collegiate Pacific will report 3Q revenues of approximately $27.0 million vs $11.2 million. The company noted that these anticipated results are consistent with the full FY corporate net sales guidance of $104.0-$107.0 million.


Garmont North America has selected the CenterStone Technologies' online sales order management software application for three of its brands:


Andy Roddick's contract with Reebok won't be renewed, but he is likely to sign with Lacoste.


Sportsman's Warehouse signed a 10-year lease for a 364,000-square-foot distribution center at 9669 S. Prosperity Road in West Jordan, UT.


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