Merry-Go-Round Enterprises Inc.This Joppa-based retailer...


November 28, 1990

Merry-Go-Round Enterprises Inc.

This Joppa-based retailer of young men's and women's fashions continues to post strong earnings and revenues in an industry that, for the most part, is in a slump.

The company, which operates 655 stores under the Merry-Go-Round, Cignal, DeeJaiz and Attivo banners in 37 states, posted a 24 percent jump in revenues and a 43 percent jump in earnings for the third quarter, which ended Nov. 3, compared with the same period a year ago.

Same-stores sales -- sales of stores that have been open a year or more -- rose 18 percent during the period -- still among the best same-store figures in the industry.

Analysts have said retailers that can post single-digit increases in same-store sales in the current economic climate are considered to be doing well.

Hechinger Co.

This Landover-based do-it-yourself home repair and maintenance retailer continues to build additional stores and broaden its geographic reach, opening three new stores in its Home Quarter division during the quarter.

For the third quarter, which ended Nov. 3, revenues rose 14 percent, primarily from the additional revenues derived from stores built within the last year. Comparable sales at stores more than a year old were down 4 percent, the company reported yesterday.

Net income slumped amid depressed construction demand in Hechinger's mid-Atlantic area market and an overall slowdown in retail spending, said Lennie Zallar, company treasurer.

But Robert P. Curran, a Merrill Lynch & Co. analyst who tracks the company, said, "I was presently surprised at the kind of earnings they were able to generate on continued depressed [established-store] sales." Cost-cutting measures and adjustments in product offerings initiated by management last year combined to shore up weakening earnings, he said.

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