There are risks inherent in operating in a new distribution environment and implementing a new warehouse management system, including operational difficulties that may arise with such transitions.As we expand our store base, we may be unable to maintain the same comparable store sales or average sales per square foot that we have in the past, which could cause our share price to decline.As we expand our store base, we may not be able to maintain the levels of comparable store sales that we have experienced historically. In addition, we may not be able to maintain our historic average sales per square foot as we move into new markets.If our future comparable store sales or average sales per square foot decline or fail to meet market expectations, the price of our ordinary shares could decline.
In addition, the aggregate results of operations of our stores have fluctuated in the past and can be expected to continue to fluctuate in the future. A variety of factors affect both comparable store sales and average sales per square foot, including, among others, fashion trends, competition, current economic conditions, pricing, inflation, the timing of the release of new merchandise and promotional events, changes in our merchandise mix, the success of marketing programs and weather conditions. If we misjudge the market for our products, we may incur excess inventory for some of our products and miss opportunities for other products. These factors may cause our comparable store sales results and average sales per square foot in the future to be materially lower than recent periods and our expectations, which could harm our results of operations and result in a decline in the price of our ordinary shares.
We are subject to risks associated with leasing retail space under long-term, non-cancelable leases and are required to make substantial lease payments under our operating leases; any failure to make these lease payments when due could materially adversely affect our business, financial condition and operating results.We do not own any of our store facilities; instead, we lease all of our stores under operating leases. Our leases generally have terms of 10 years with no renewal options. Our leases generally require a fixed annual rent, and most require the payment of additional rent if store sales exceed a negotiated amount. Generally, our leases are “net” leases, which require us to pay all of the costs of insurance, taxes, maintenance and utilities. We generally cannot cancel these leases at our option. Payments under these operating leases account for a significant portion of our operating costs. For example, as of March 31, 2012, we were party to operating leases associated with our stores as well as other corporate facilities requiring future minimum lease payments aggregating to $317.8 million through Fiscal 2017 and approximately $218.0 million thereafter through Fiscal 2028. We expect that any new stores we open under operating leases will have terms similar to those contained in leases we have entered previously, which will further increase our operating lease expenses.