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 WESTLAKE VILLAGE, Calif., Sept. 3 /PRNewswire/ -- The Right Start Inc. (NASDAQ: RTST) announced today it expects net income of approximately $180,000, or $.03 a share, for the first quarter ended Aug. 25, which is lower than analysts' expectations. The company earned $290,000, or $.05 per share, for the same period last year.
 Despite the fact that the company expects to report record-breaking revenues for the quarter, Right Start has indicated that earnings will be restrained due to lower than anticipated response rates to increased mailings; the expense associated with gearing up for the higher expectations; and the company's investment in pilot testing the Weebok catalog.
 On the retail side, Lenny Targon, chief executive officer, said performance of its two newest stores has been exceptional. Both stores, one in Laguna Hills, Calif., and the other in a Rich's Department Store in Gwinnett Center, near Atlanta, are generating profits after being opened in July 1993.
 In addition, same-store sales are up approximately 50 percent for the Westlake Village store and 25 percent for the Rich's Department store located Atlantic Square Mall. Targon added, "Our retail program's success is fueling our continued optimism for the company's performance overall."
 The company said it expects to report a 60 percent increase in revenues for the quarter largely due to contributions from the company's Children's Wear Digest catalog, which was not part of the company a year ago, and an increase in the number of Right Start catalogs mailed.
 Targon said, "Based on last year's strong response rates, which taxed our system, we expected response rates to be up." Industry-wide catalog sales were also soft this summer. Management said it will re- evaluate the Weebok project in the coming months.
 "While prospects for Weebok are not encouraging, the house lists from our other two catalogs are larger than ever. We continue to expect higher revenues from increased mailings," Targon added. "Pre-tax margins will depend on response rates which, of course, are affected by economic conditions."
 The company plans to announce earnings results for the first quarter on Sept. 14, 1993.
 The Right Start Inc. is a leading mail-order catalog merchant and retailer offering unique, high-quality products for children up to age 12. Its catalogs include The Right Start Catalog(R), Children's Wear Digest(R) and The Weebok Catalog(R). Revenues for fiscal 1993 were $42.3 million. Founded in 1985, The Right Start is headquartered in Westlake Village.
 -0- 9/3/93
 /CONTACT: Lenny Targon, The Right Start, 818-707-7100; or Ina McGuinness or Roger Pondel, Pondel Parsons & Wilkinson 310-207-9300/

CO: The Right Start Inc. ST: California IN: REA SU: ERP

LM-JL -- LA025 -- 8922 09/03/93 15:47 EDT
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Sep 3, 1993

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