CARPINTERIA Calif. Winter weather and the continued economic slump hurt sales at CKE Restaurants Inc., the company said Wednesday, leading to a 6.5-percent blended same-store sales decline in December for its Hardee’s and Carl’s Jr. chains.
The decline reflected same-store sales decreases of 8.9 percent at Carl’s Jr. and 3.2 percent at Hardee’s, and show a worsening sales decline from both chain’s November results. CKE is the latest quick-service operator to report weak sales trends, and many observers have pointed to high unemployment rates as the culprit behind sales declines at Sonic, McDonald’s and Yum! Brands' chains, among others.
“We believe the ongoing weakness in the overall economy coupled with poor weather conditions negatively impacted both brands’ sales results during [December],” said Andrew F. Puzder, chief executive at CKE Restaurants. “In this environment, we will continue to focus on profitability, the excellent value-for-the-money of our premium products and new initiatives to improve same-store sales and increase market share.”
CKE operates or franchises 3,147 restaurants, including 1,221 Carl’s Jr. locations and 1,913 Hardee’s units.