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Pie Five records another double-digit comps drop

The once-promising pizza chain has closed stores and refranchised to stem the damage.

Pie Five’s downward spiral continues.

The fast-casual pizza chain posted a 13.7% drop in same-store sales for its second fiscal quarter. Total systemwide sales for parent company Rave Restaurant Group plummeted 18.8% during the quarter, which ended on Dec. 24, 2017.

The only bright spot? A 2.7% bump in year-over-year comps for sister brand Pizza Inn, though total sales for the 60-year-old quick-service chain were down 3.3% for the period due to a drop in unit count.

Rave reported revenues of $4.2 million for the second fiscal quarter, down 38% from the previous year, for a net loss of $0.6 million.

During the quarter, Rave shut down its distribution division in favor of moving to third-party suppliers.

"Our new, simplified approach to supply chain management provides more transparency and efficiency for our franchisees,” Rave CEO Scott Crane said in a news release. “It has also provided us opportunities to make reductions in general and administrative costs.”

Pie Five shuttered five underperforming franchised locations during the reporting period while opening two new units, bringing its quarter-end unit count to 80. The chain, which had 99 units just last year, shuttered 18 of them in the first quarter of 2017.

The struggling concept recently added shareable, 14-inch pizzas and cauliflower crusts in the hopes of driving repeat business.

Pie Five also refranchised 11 company-owned units during the quarter, part of a refranchising strategy Crane says the chain is “diligently pursuing.”

The once-promising chain has seen a steep decline in recent years. Pie Five reported a same-store sales jump of 16.9% in the fourth quarter of 2014 over the same period of the previous year. Sales have been in free fall since the end of 2015.

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