Jamba Juice 2nd-Q comps fall 3.3% on soft traffic in California

EMERYVILLE Calif. In preliminary unaudited reports Tuesday, Jamba Inc., based here, disclosed a 14.1-percent increase in second-quarter revenue to $89.6 million despite a 3.3-percent drop in same-stores sales for the three months ended July 24. Jamba Juice blamed the sales dip on soft traffic counts in the Jamba Juice chain’s core market of California.

The smoothie and juice chain opened 27 branches during the quarter in markets such as Oregon, Florida and Las Vegas to reach a total of 645 locations, including 420 owned by the franchisor.

“We are experiencing some softness in California traffic counts while emerging markets are posting strong comparable-sales growth and solid traffic increases,” said Paul Clayton, Jamba president and chief executive.

The company plans to open a total of 90 stores in 2007, but expected openings of franchise units have been scaled back from 50 to 30 for the year because of “slower than expected non-traditional store rollout,” Clayton said.

“While our comparable sales are disappointing relative to our expectations, we remain confident and excited about Jamba’s growth plans,” he said. “As we’ve previously indicated, Jamba’s comparable sales fluctuate significantly more than retailers’ due to the impacts of weather and our concentrated store base in California. While second-quarter comparable sales are within our historical range, they fell short of our own expectations partly by being up against strong prior-year sales comparisons.”

Clayton reiterated previously disclosed plans to launch a new breakfast line systemwide next year, including hot, stuffed pocket sandwiches and spoonable “chunky smoothies.” The breakfast items are being tested in one store in Emeryville.

During the second quarter, Jamba also introduced a health-oriented Functional smoothie line, including a “training smoothie” in a tie-in with Nike in California.