A number of factors prompted Noodle Kidoodle to tell analysts late last month that it would incur a greater than expected loss in the second quarter ended July 31, 1999.
According to the company, a scarcity of Beanie Babies merchandise resulted in slower than planned sales, while expenses increased due to higher advertising expenditures, the opening of one more new store than originally planned and start-up costs associated with a new Internet joint venture. As a result of slower Beanie Babies sales, Noodle Kidoodle expects to report a comparable-store sale decrease of 9%-10% for the second quarter; excluding Beanie Babies, same-store sales would have been up about 1%.
The new Noodle Kidoodle Web site, which is being done in partnership with Daniel Nissan, former president of NetGrocer, is expected to be up by this fall. The company is investing approximately $1 million in the site, which will offer 3000-5000 items for sale; during last year's holiday season, 800 items were offered by the old site. As for its physical stores, Noodle Kidoodle expects to open a total of 15 new outlets in the current fiscal year; the company currently has 48 stores and began the year with 42 locations.