Trans World Entertainment reported that sales in its “Trend” (geek merch) category were up 65% in the quarter ended April 30, as its packaged media categories continued their precipitous declines. Video was down 13% and music down 11% in the period. That brought its Trend category up to 26% of the chain’s sales, from 14% in the year ago period. That represents over $19 million in merch sales in the quarter.
Trans World, which operates f.y.e. and a handful of Suncoast stores, is slowly reformatting its stores to a more merch-heavy layout; 13 of its 290 stores are now in the new format. The company continues to reduce its store count, it was down 20 stores from the year ago period.
The transformation of its product mix is accelerating; the Trends growth rate was 39% in the previous quarter (see “Growth of Geek Driving Sales in Chains”).