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VALUE MERCHANTS, INC. REPORTS INCREASED SALES FOR APRIL; HIGHER FIRST QUARTER LOSS EXPECTED DUE TO LOWER TOY SALES (repeating from earlier)

     VALUE MERCHANTS, INC. REPORTS INCREASED SALES FOR APRIL;
     HIGHER FIRST QUARTER LOSS EXPECTED DUE TO LOWER TOY SALES
                (repeating from earlier)
     MILWAUKEE, May 7 /PRNewswire/ -- Value Merchants, Inc. (NYSE: VMI) reported sales for the four weeks ended May 2, 1992, for all operations increased 73 percent to $17.5 million from $10.1 million a year ago.  Year-to-date revenues through the first 13 weeks of the fiscal year for the company were 63 percent ahead of a year ago, totaling $53.1 million compared with $32.6 million a year ago.
    Value Merchants, Inc. is a value retailer of close-out merchandise and operated 249 Everything's $1.00 variety retail stores (134 more than a year ago) and 115 Toy Liquidators toy stores (17 more than a year ago) as of May 2, 1992, and also is the nation's largest wholesaler of close-out toy merchandise.  The company operated 364 retail stores compared to 216 a year ago at the close of the four week period and 46 more than at the close of fiscal 1991.
    Comparable store sales for Everything's $1.00 (104 stores) increased 6.9 percent for the four week period.  Total sales for Everything's $1.00 for the four week period were 146.4 percent ahead of a year ago.  Year-to-date comparable stores sales results for the first 13 weeks of the fiscal year for Everything's $1.00 were 0.3 percent ahead of a year ago.
    Toy Liquidators reported a 4.8 percent increase in comparable store sales (91 stores) and a 16.7 percent sales increase for all stores compared to April, 1991.  Year-to-date comparable store sales for the first 13 weeks of the fiscal year for Toy Liquidators were 10 percent lower than a year ago.  In February and March, Toy Liquidators' sales were hampered by a disruption in shipping merchandise caused by the relocation of the Toy Distribution Center from Knoxville, Tenn. to Indianapolis.
    "Although we experienced strong sales by both our retail operations during Easter week, we expected better toy store sales results during this four week period," Steven J. Appel, chief executive officer stated.
    The company experienced a decrease in wholesale toy sales through the first 13 weeks of the fiscal year primarily as a result of delays in shipping customer orders and because of the relocation of wholesale toy's distribution center from Paterson, N.J. to Indianapolis.
    "Due to lower retail and wholesale toy sales thus far in this first quarter ending May 23, 1992," Appel said, "We now anticipate that our loss for the quarter will be in the range of 0.45 cents to 0.50 cents."  According to Appel, the company expects it will make up for the lower than expected toy retail and wholesale operating results as the year progresses.
    The following table summarizes the company's sales performance:
                    NET SALES -- TOTAL OPERATIONS
                             (In millions)
                           Four Weeks Ended
          May 2, 1992         May 4, 1991        Pct. Increase
            $17.5               $10.1                72.5
                          Thirteen Weeks Ended
          May 2, 1992         May 4, 1991        Pct. Increase
            $53.1               $32.6                63.0
                      Net Sales -- Retail Operations
                   Percentage Increase from Prior Year
                           Everything's $1.00
                        No. of Stores             Pct. Increase
                       1992       1991           April    13 weeks
    Comparable Stores  104         104            6.9        0.3
    Total stores       249         118          146.4      124.8
                              Toy Liquidators
                        No. of Stores             Pct. Increase
                       1992       1991           April    13 weeks
    Comparable Stores   91          91            4.8      (10.1)
    Total stores       115          98           16.7        4.0
    NOTE:  Comparable stores are all stores opened prior to February, 1991.
    -0-                    5/7/92
    /CONTACT: Gary I. Kastel, director of communications of Value Merchants, Inc., 414-274-2976/
    (VMI) CO:  Value Merchants, Inc. ST:  Wisconsin IN:  RET SU: 619 05-07-92 10:53 EDT CG -- CL014 -- 7560 05/07/92 11:06 EDT
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:May 7, 1992
Words:628
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