Just an F.Y.I., but Trans World Entertainment operates F.Y.E.
and a handful of other retail ventures. F.Y.E. (aka For Your
Entertainment) stores sell CDs, DVDs, video games, software, and
related products at about 390 locations throughout the US,
Puerto Rico, and the Virgin Islands. Trans World's other
bricks-and-mortar operations include about 15 video stores
under the Saturday Matinee and Suncoast Motion Pictures
banners. Most of the firm's retail outlets are located in
shopping malls. Trans World also sells entertainment
products via its e-commerce sites (including fye.com,
secondspin.com, and wherehouse.com). Chairman and CEO Bob Higgins
founded the company in 1972.
Sales of videos and music account for about three-quarters of
Trans World's merchandise sales. In addition to its F.Y.E. stores,
the retailer operates video-only stores under the Suncoast Motion
Pictures and Saurday Matinee banners. Trans World operates three
e-commerce sites (www.fye.com, www.wherehouse.com and
www.secondspin.com), but does not break out online sales.
Sales and Marketing
To promote its declining business, Trans World uses in-store
visual displays as well as mass-media, such as newspaper, radio,
and television advertisements. It also sends email blasts and
promotes its brand through social networks.
Trans World's sales have suffered along with the broader music
industry as consumers increasingly prefer to download music rather
than buy CDs. DVD sales have also fallen as Internet streaming
options become more accepted by consumers. As a result, the
retailer's annual sales have plummeted more than 60% over the past
five years: from more than $1.4 billion in fiscal 2007
(ends Janaury) to just $542 million in fiscal 2012. Most
recently, Trans World's 2012 sales declined 17% vs. the prior year,
due to double-digit declines in DVD, music, and video
games sales, a smaller store count, and a 4% drop in
same-store sales. On the plus side, the company turned a small
profit in 2012 after four consecutive years in the red.
Years of declining demand due to seismic changes in the music
and entertainment industries led Trans World to close about 175
stores over the past two years. Its goal is to whittle its store
base to a core group of profitable locations. It has also
experimented with a new pricing strategy at
F.Y.E.(launched in 2009), and introduced the Backstage Pass
loyalty card, which applies a 10% discount to customer
purchases at F.Y.E. stores. In addition, Trans World stores
have been tailoring their product selection to suit regional
preferences, including shifting store space allotted
for music to other categories. While the company's efforts
have failed to reverse declining sales, the closures
have helped stem its losses.
To further reduce expenses, Trans World
shuttered its distribution center in Carson, California,
in mid-2010. The move left Trans World with one
distribution center in Albany, New York, which is leased from
chairman and CEO Higgins.