PacSun is exploring strategic alternatives for the Demo storesand announced last month that it will close its One Thousand Stepsdivision. In the company's conference call Tuesday for the thirdquarter ended Nov. 3, CEO Sally Frame Kasaks commented that she was"very pleased by the progress shown by our core PacSun businessduring the third quarter." She said that the company "completed astrong back-to-school season, driven by continued progress inimproving our juniors' business and steady performance from ourguys' business," citing the positive comp store sales results.

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The company's comp store sales increased by 5% during thequarter, even though total sales dipped to $373.1 million from lastyear's $375.4 million in the third quarter. The 5% same store salesincrease during the latest quarter, by concept, included a 7.7%increase for PacSun stores and an 18% decreased for Demostores.

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Pacific Sun, which operates its 1,120 stores under the PacSun,Demo and One Thousand Steps concepts, has been conducting a programto "refresh" its stores to boost sales and meet one of the goalsestablished by Kasaks: improving customers' in-store shoppingexperience. "Our store refreshing program has played a key role inthis effort," Kasaks said. She noted that the company for thisfiscal year will complete 50 refreshes, and that it expects toincrease its pace of store refreshings to 75 locations per yeargoing forward.

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Improving the shopping experience was one of three keyinitiatives that Kasaks identified when she came on board atPacific Sunwear just over a year ago. The others includedreconnecting with customers and driving higher comp store salesthrough the chain's junior business. The refreshed stores are alsohelping to achieve those goals, the PacSun CEO said.

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The 1,120 Pacific Sunwear locations include 838 PacSun stores,119 PacSun Outlets, 154 Demo stores and nine One Thousand Stepslocations. Kasaks said that there was no news to report on thesearch for strategic solutions for the Demo concept, but thecompany expects to close the One Thousand Steps stores by the endof the year.

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