iParty Corp. (NYSE MKT: IPT - news), a party goods retailer, today reported sales of $16.4 million for the calendar month of October, 2012, a decrease of 6.5% compared to total company sales in calendar October 2011.
Sal Perisano, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of iParty Corp., commented “For the second consecutive year, our Halloween business was impacted by severe storms hitting the Northeast, in both years striking two days before the Halloween holiday. The anticipation of Hurricane Sandy in our core markets disrupted normal business for several days prior to the storm’s actual passage and closed most of our stores in our core market the day of the storm. Despite the severity of Hurricane Sandy, and widespread power outages throughout our market area, none of our stores were closed for any significant period in the two days following the storm. In spite of the impact of the severe weather and a mid-week Halloween, we are trending ahead of last year through the first ten months with comparable store sales increasing 1.3% compared to the same period last year.”
Sal Perisano further stated, “We are also announcing today that we have engaged the investment bank of Raymond James & Associates to assist us in exploring a broad range of financial and strategic alternatives. Having completed our busiest season, we look forward to working with Raymond James in exploring ways to grow the company and enhance shareholder value.”
Halloween ResultsFor the thirty-one day calendar month of October 2012, total company sales decreased 6.5% to $16.4 million from $17.6 million for the same period in 2011. Sales at comparable stores decreased 7.5% for the thirty-one day calendar month of October 2012 compared to the prior year period. For the five week fiscal month of October, which ended on November 3 rd, 2012, total company sales decreased by 2.6% compared to the five week October fiscal month period in 2011 and sales at comparable stores for this same period decreased 3.6% compared to the fiscal month of October 2011. For the calendar year 2012 through October 31, total company sales were approximately $68.9 million, a 0.8% increase compared to $68.3 million for the same period in 2011, with sales at comparable stores increasing 1.3 % compared to the same period in 2011. For the forty-four week period through fiscal October 2012, which ended on November 3 rd, total company sales increased by 0.9 % compared to the same period in 2011, and sales at comparable stores increased 1.3% compared to the same period in 2011. Strategic Alternatives In the past ten years, we have increased our store count by 25 stores, including two new stores in 2012, adopted a strategy of opening temporary Halloween stores, with ten stores operated in 2012, and relaunched our e-commerce site. As we look to the future, the Board determined that they should explore financial and strategic alternatives to enhance shareholder value. Towards this end, the Board of Directors has formed a special committee comprised of the independent directors (the “ Special Committee”) to explore a broad range of financial and strategic alternatives, including, but not limited to, raising additional financing to enhance the Company’s ability to grow, a potential restructuring of its capital structure, or a potential sale of the Company. The Company has engaged Raymond James & Associates, Inc. to advise it on this broad range of financial and strategic alternatives. No decision has been made to engage in a financing or strategic transaction at this time, and there can be no assurance the Company will enter into any such transaction in the future. The Special Committee has not set a definitive timetable for completion of the strategic review process, and it does not intend to disclose or comment on developments with respect to the progress of such process until such time as the Board takes some action, if any, or otherwise deems disclosure appropriate or required.