Loss widens at Orchard Supply Hardware

Orchard Supply Hardware reported first-quarter net sales of $155.0 million, down 5.37%, as comparable-store sales declined 3.1%. The company posted a loss of $4.5 million, compared with a loss of $1.0 million in the first quarter of 2011.

The company, which describes itself as a retail concept that occupies the space between the big box and the hardware store, still expects to turn its comp-store sales into the black for the full year.

“We are increasing our focus on marketing, promotions and customer communication initiatives designed to drive traffic and sales,” said Mark Baker, president and CEO. “Additionally, our team is continuing to execute on our turnaround initiatives, including new-store openings, remodels and refurbishments to enhance the store portfolio and leverage Orchard’s strong local market presence and 80-year history.”

In fiscal 2012, Orchard Supply expects to open up to three new stores and remodel up to six locations. The company operates 88 stores, all of them in California.