Challenged Jamba Juice Rolling Out Food

Jamba Juice Jamba Juice, traditionally focused exclusively on juices and smoothies, is pushing to add food items to its menu in an effort to turn around declining sales and overall weak financial performance.

The company's national introduction of steel-cut oatmeal with fruit in January appears to be a success, and it is now implementing a comprehensive food strategy that will "transform" its business, President/CEO James White said during Jamba, Inc.'s fiscal 2008 Q4 conference call.

The plan calls for "assembling a retail food capability across all dayparts," said White, who acknowledged that management is "disappointed" with Jamba's fiscal 2008 results.

While total revenue increased 8.1% to $342.9 million, company-owned store sales dropped 8% and diluted per-share loss increased to -$2.80, versus -$2.17 in 2007.



The chain's strategy also calls for meeting specific cost-cutting goals, building a "customer-first and operationally focused service culture" across the company, accelerating franchise and nontraditional store growth, and enhancing the licensing platform.

Jamba plans "minimal, if any" growth in company-owned stores in 2009, but up to 50 new franchise stores. Last year, 35 new company-owned stores were opened, compared to 99 in 2007.

"While we expect the economic environment to remain challenging in 2009, we are confident that we have the right strategy in place to revitalize Jamba and create long-term shareholder value," White said.

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