The company estimates the weather impacted sales by
Subsequently, Hancock posted a net loss of
If the company had recovered even half of the estimated missed sales, it would have recorded a sales increase, said Hancock Chief Financial Officer
He also noted that gross margin was slightly less than last year's quarter -- 45.1 percent versus 45.5 percent, but this year's quarter still showed strong results.
"Gross profit this quarter was slightly less than last year, but last year's gross margin was a 470-basis point improvement over 2012," he said.
Comparable store sales -- a key retail metric -- were down 1.1 percent from a year ago, largely blamed on the weather.
"We have a large footprint with stores in 37 states, and we had some stores that were shut down because of the weather, which affected sales," Brown said.
Sales trends have improved since March, even as Hancock enters its second quarter, traditionally a slower sales period for the company.
Brown said Hancock is focused on its marketing efforts to push sales higher in the quarter, which the company hopes will provide momentum to the critical third and fourth quarters. Back-to-school sales will ensue in two months, followed by the critical holiday selling season.
"I think we're doing OK," Brown said.
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