Papa John's sales drop, CEO blames 'recent events' - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

Papa John's sales drop, CEO blames 'recent events'

Sales for July dropped more than 10 percent, according to the pizza chain. (Source: Papa John's/CNN) Sales for July dropped more than 10 percent, according to the pizza chain. (Source: Papa John's/CNN)

(RNN) – These are trying times for Papa John’s. Sales are down at the pizza chain.

The company said same-store sales in North America fell more than 6 percent for the three months ending July 1. Just for July alone, sales dropped 10.5 percent.

Papa John’s CEO Steve Ritchie appeared to put the blame on the controversy surrounding founder John Schnatter, who admitted last month to using the N-word on a conference call.

Soon after Forbes published a story about the incident, Schnatter apologized and resigned as the company's chairman.

But he’s still on the board and owns 29 percent of the company's stock. Schnatter is now suing the company he founded.

“Earlier this year, we began implementing key changes in how we operate and market our products to refocus on quality and better connect with customers," Ritchie said in a press release. “While results have been challenged by recent events, we are committed to these strategic priorities and continue to believe that they will lead to enhanced performance.”

Papa John’s doesn’t expect things to improve anytime soon.

“At this time, the company cannot predict how long and the extent to which the negative customer sentiment will continue to impact future sales,” the company said. “In addition, the company expects to incur significant costs as a result of the recent negative publicity.”

Papa John’s said it estimates those costs at $30 million to $50 for the rest of the year.

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