Trans World Entertainment, which operates 400 F.Y.E. and Suncoast stores, reported a $2.8 million profit for Q1, compared to a $2.5 million loss in Q1 2011. TWE returned to profitability in 2011, its first profitable year since 2006. Same store video sales were up 6%. "Trend" sales, which includes licensed goods, manga, and other graphic novels, were up 15%. Electronics sales also grew, and music was down.
Over-all sales were down 15%, as was the store count from a year ago. Still, it’s impressive that a chain selling packaged media has turned profitable despite increasing digitization of video and music and continuing tough economic conditions.
Blockbuster, more focused on rental and without the breadth of lines that TWE has, is now at break-even, in the midst of ferocious store closings (see "Blockbuster Closing 500 Stores").