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Tandy Leather Factory Inc. (TLF) Breaks 19-Month Sales Slump; Forecasts Positive 2009

Tandy Leather Factory Inc. yesterday announced increases in monthly and year-over-year sales for Retail Leathercraft, Wholesale Leathercraft and International Leathercraft, breaking 19 straight months of declining wholesale store sales. Sales for November were $5.2 million, up 13 percent from the $4.6 million reported in 2008.

“Our wholesale stores broke their nineteen-month consecutive streak of sales declines. And our Retail and International Leathercraft divisions continue their very positive sales trends. With the sales momentum generated in October and November, I fully expect we will have a fourth quarter sales gain. Sales gains of any size in this environment are considered positive,” Tandy Leather Factory CEO and President Jon Thompson stated.

Retail Leathercraft’s sales increased 20 percent to $2.7 million, compared to November 2008 sales of $2.2 million. The 73 comparable stores’ sales rose 18 percent for the month, as compared to the same period last year. The two stores opened since November 2008 attributed $56,000 of total sales. Year-to-date sales for Retail Leathercraft are $24.9 million this year, a 10 percent increase over sales of $22.6 million for the same period of 2008. Year-to-date, the 72 comparable stores’ sales were up 8 percent compared to sales reported for the same period in 2008.

Wholesale Leathercraft posted sales of $2.3 million for November, up 8 percent from November 2008 sales of $2.2 million. Within the Wholesale Leathercraft division, the wholesale centers posted a 7 percent increase in sales for November, while the National Account group’s sales increased 13 percent compared to November 2008. For the year to date, Wholesale Leathercraft sales are $22.8 million compared to $24.4 million in 2008, down 6 percent.

International Leathercraft, which consists of one store in the UK that opened in February 2008, reported November sales of $127,000, a 53 percent increase over sales of $83,000 in November 2008. For the year to date, 2009 sales for International Leathercraft totaled $1.2 million, a 59 percent increase over 2008 sales of $753,000.

Shannon Greene, chief financial officer and treasurer, added positive forecast to the sales report, saying 2009 sales are expected to trump 2008.

“Some good things are happening at our wholesale stores, but it is too early to tell if we have ‘turned the corner’ in that division. Regardless, I am proud of the efforts of our wholesale store managers and glad to have good news to report there. Cash continues to accumulate, and our inventory is in good shape to finish the year. I think it is safe to say we will beat our 2008 sales and earnings,” Greene stated.

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