updated 4/7/2011 8:16:55 AM ET 2011-04-07T12:16:55

Retail Same Store Sales Up 10%; Wholesale Same Store Sales Up 5%; UK Store Sales Up 16%

FORT WORTH, Texas, April 7, 2011 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Tandy Leather Factory, Inc. (Nasdaq:TLF) reported today that sales for the month of March were $5.7 million, up 7% compared to March 2010 sales. Year to date sales are up 9% to $15.9 million in the current year from $14.6 million last year.

Retail Leathercraft's sales rose 10% to $3.1 million compared to March 2010 sales of $2.8 million. There are no new stores in March so same store sales are also up 10% compared to the same period last year. Year-to-date sales for Retail Leathercraft are $8.7 million this year, a 14% increase over sales of $7.6 million for the same period of 2010. As of the end of March, the 75 comparable stores' sales were up 9% compared to sales reported for the same period in 2010. 

Wholesale Leathercraft posted sales of $2.5 million for March, up 3% compared to March 2010 sales. Within the Wholesale Leathercraft division, the wholesale same store sales were up 5% for the month while the National Account group's sales were up 3% from March 2010. For the year to date, Wholesale Leathercraft sales are $6.7 million compared to $6.6 million in 2010, up 2%. As of the end of March, the wholesale same store sales were up 4% compared to the same period last year and the National Account group's sales are down 2%.       

International Leathercraft's sales rose 16% to $177,000 compared to March 2010 sales of $152,000. Year-to-date sales are $509,000 this year, a 33% increase over sales of $381,000 for the same period of 2010. International Leathercraft consists of one store located in the UK.

Chief Executive Officer and President, Jon Thompson, commented, "March adds another month to our positive sales trend. We are expecting some pressure on gross margins in the next two quarters as leather prices remain high. Although we try to build cost increases into our selling prices, at some point, customer price resistance will come into play. We continue to look for unique buying opportunities in order to offset the higher prices on some of our everyday leathers. Without them, we could see gross margins decrease by up to 100 basis points in the second and third quarters. However, because leather is a commodity, we are not the only ones dealing with rising product costs."

Shannon L. Greene, Chief Financial Officer, added, "Sales are off to a good start in 2011, as we ended the first quarter with a 9% sales gain. While sales gains are good indicators of the market, gross margins and operating margins are more important. We will be working hard to reap the benefit of those sales gains by doing all we can to keep gross margins stable and operating expenses down. As Jon indicated, leather prices are up. The weakness in the U.S. dollar is having a negative effect on product costs for anyone who imports product as well. With that said, these are not new issues for us. It is a normal part of being in the leather business." 

Tandy Leather Factory, Inc., ( http://www.tandyleatherfactory.com ), headquartered in Fort Worth, Texas, is a specialty retailer and wholesale distributor of a broad product line including leather, leatherworking tools, buckles and adornments for belts, leather dyes and finishes, saddle and tack hardware, and do-it-yourself kits. The Company distributes its products through its 29 Leather Factory stores, located in 19 states and 3 Canadian provinces, 76 Tandy Leather retail stores, located in 36 states and 6 Canadian provinces, and one combination wholesale/retail store located in the United Kingdom. Its common stock trades on the Nasdaq with the symbol "TLF". To be included on Tandy Leather Factory's email distribution list, go to http://www.b2i.us/irpass.asp?BzID=1625&to=ea&s=0.

The Tandy Leather Factory, Inc. logo is available at http://www.globenewswire.com/newsroom/prs/?pkgid=7760

This news release may contain statements regarding future events, occurrences, circumstances, activities, performance, outcomes and results that are considered "forward-looking statements" as defined in the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Actual results and events may differ from those projected as a result of certain risks and uncertainties. These risks and uncertainties include but are not limited to: changes in general economic conditions, negative trends in general consumer-spending levels, failure to realize the anticipated benefits of opening retail stores; availability of hides and leathers and resultant price fluctuations; change in customer preferences for our product, and other factors disclosed in our filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission. These forward-looking statements are made only as of the date hereof, and except as required by law, we do not intend to update or revise any forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise.

CONTACT: Shannon L. Greene, Tandy Leather Factory, Inc.
         (817) 872-3200 or sgreene@tandyleather.com
         
         Mark Gilbert, Magellan Fin, LLC
         (317) 867-2839 or MGilbert@MagellanFin.com

© Copyright 2012, GlobeNewswire, Inc. All Rights Reserved

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