Another deep-discount retailer warned of softening sales Friday, this time
Dollar Tree Stores
Shares of the Virginia-based chain fell 10.5% after management disclosed in a
Securities and Exchange Commission
filing that first-quarter sales will be $740 million to $755 million. Dollar Tree's original sales guidance for the period was $770 million to $790 million.
The company blamed bad weather and "Easter falling in March this year" (although the company's quarter runs from Jan. 30 to April 30).
"The company experienced positive comparable-store sales results for the first nine weeks of the quarter, and while the quarter does not end until April 30, 2005, post-Easter selling has been lower than planned against the difficult comparisons to last year," it explained.
Dollar Tree joins
99 Cents Only
in the discount doghouse. The latter has been falling for months and years amid various accounting snafus and posted declining same-store sales in 2004.
Dollar Tree shares were down $3.04 to $25.13.