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Children's Place Makes Some Noise - The Motley Fool 05/19/05

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  • Children's Place Makes Some Noise - The Motley Fool 05/19/05

    Article from The Motley Fool - May 19, 2005
    Children's Place Makes Some Noise

    The last time we checked in on children's apparel specialist Children's Place (Nasdaq: PLCE), the retailer had just recently applied the finishing touches on an impressive fourth quarter that saw same-store sales advance 17% and revenues nearly double. At the same time, my two-year-old son was busy wearing out his expensive new clothes with the help of a few impromptu mud-puddle parties in the back yard. Several months later, he has developed more of an affinity for ketchup and flour, and Children's Place is still consistently posting impressive top-line growth, with first-quarter revenues climbing nearly two-thirds higher to $369.2 million.

    The acquisition of Disney's (NYSE: DIS) retail operations last November continues to fuel much of the growth, with the Disney store chain tallying $88.5 million in sales for the quarter. Even without that help, though, revenues still jumped 24%, driven by a solid 13% gain in same-store sales at Children's Place. While still healthy, comps appear to be slowing somewhat from the torrid upper-teens pace that seemed to be the norm for much of last year.
    After peaking at more than 700 stores several years ago, there are only around 300 Disney outlets today. However, two new stores have recently opened in high-profile locations, and another 40 are expected to be either opened or remodeled later this year. There are encouraging signs that during this learning process, the company is finding new ways to better leverage the rights to many of the world's most beloved characters in time for the pivotal fourth quarter.

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