Sales decline at hobby shops

More than 47 percent of hobby shops responding to Card Trade magazine’s annual retailer survey reported a decrease in sales for 2007, and those stores that did see a drop in sales saw a rather significant decline. Of the retailers who reported a decrease, the average decline was 20 percent.

The reasons for the declines include a drop in overall store traffic for 57 percent of stores (only 16.6 percent reported an increase) and a slowdown in sales for current-year cards. The average retailer sold $131,700 worth of current-year cards in 2007, down from an average of $141,339 in 2006.

Roughly one-third (32.6 percent) of survey respondents said their store sales increased in 2007, and those who did reported an average increase of 14.9 percent. Meanwhile, 20.2 percent of stores reported “no change” in sales compared to the previous year. This marks the seventh consecutive year in which the percentage of stores reporting a decrease was greater than those who saw an increase.

By comparison, 43.2 percent of stores reported an increase in sales in 2006, while 43.5 reported a decrease. Not only did more stores report lower gross sales in 2007, but net profits also declined for more stores. Nearly 55 percent of retailers said their net profits decreased last year, while 24.6 percent reported an increase.

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