Gadzooks, Inc. (Nasdaq: GADZ) announced that it would participate in the Bear Stearns Eighth Annual Retail, Restaurants & Apparel Conference. The Company's presentation to analysts and investors will cover the retailer's marketing, merchandising and physical store initiatives for fiscal 2002. In addition, the Company will provide financial guidance for the new year. The Company will significantly increase its marketing efforts in 2002 to increase its advertising exposure in the magazines that are important to the Gadzooks male and female customers. Beginning in March, Gadzooks' ads will appear in magazines such as YM, Spin, Teen People and Seventeen consistently throughout the year. Other major marketing initiatives for the year will include expanded special events sponsorship and the increased use of interactive e-mail marketing techniques to reach its core customers. To help increase productivity in existing stores, the Company has engaged FRCH Design Worldwide ("FRCH") to study the Gadzooks' store base and advise management on how to enhance all aspects of the store environment from merchandising and presentation to fixture and interior design elements. In conjunction with FRCH, Gadzooks will also institute a store update program to help make the Company's mature stores even more competitive in the current market. Important merchandising initiatives for the new year include an increased emphasis on private label merchandise programs and the establishment of a store planning function. The Company expects its private label business to account for 20 to 25 percent of total sales in fiscal 2002, up from about 15 percent in fiscal 2001. The store-planning group will be responsible for establishing store-specific merchandising plans and monitoring performance versus those plans to maximize store sales and profitability. For fiscal 2002, the Company expects comparable store sales to increase from 2 to 3 percent, total net sales to increase from 10 to 12 percent and diluted earnings per share of $1.10 to $1.18. For further financial guidance, including quarterly information, please call 972-662-4201 to listen to a prerecorded commentary. Finally, the Company reiterated that it was comfortable with analysts' consensus earnings estimates of $0.42 per share for the fourth quarter of fiscal 2001. Dallas-based Gadzooks, Inc. is a mall-based specialty retailer of casual apparel and related accessories for young men and women principally between the ages of 14 and 18. The Company currently operates 427 Gadzooks stores and four Orchid stores, for a total of 431 stores in 40 states. Certain statements contained in this news release may be deemed forward- looking statements that involve risks and uncertainties. Reference is made to the "Risk Factors" section of the Company's Annual Report on Form 10-K for the fiscal year ended February 3, 2001, for factors that, among others, could cause the actual results of the Company to differ materially from those contained in the forward- looking statements.
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