Back to School Gets Low Grades From Retailers
The news continued to be bad for Sears, Roebuck and Co., Hoffman Estates, IL, which yesterday reported total domestic store revenue of $1.91 billion, down 7.1 percent, for the four weeks ended Aug. 28, 2004. Comparable-store sales fell 6.1 percent in August. Part of the problem was "softer than expected back-to-school sales," chairman/CEO Alan J. Lacy said in a statement.
The news was more upbeat for J.C. Penney Company Inc., Plano, TX. The multichannel retailer reported total sales of $1.54 billion, a 4.3 percent gain over last year, for the four weeks ended Aug. 28. Same-store sales rose 3.8 percent for the month. Also, catalog/Internet volume gained 6 percent, and Internet sales alone increased more than 35 percent.
Other companies reporting results yesterday included:
· The Talbots Inc., Hingham, MA, experienced a 1 percent dip in sales for the four weeks ended Aug. 28 compared with the year-ago period. Total August sales were $86.8 million. Comparable-store sales fell 4.6 percent.
· Sharper Image Corp., San Francisco, generated revenue of $43.3 million, up 16 percent, for the calendar month ended Aug. 31. Same-store sales for the month fell 6 percent. The catalog/direct marketing area posted a 19 percent rise in August sales, reaching $11.1 million. Internet sales alone increased 35 percent to $6.2 million.
· Casual Male Retail Group Inc., Canton, MA, reported a 1.9 percent rise in sales for the four weeks ended Aug. 28, totaling $21.8 million. Same-store sales increased 1.8 percent.
· The Neiman Marcus Group, Dallas, saw total revenue rise 14.8 percent to $240 million in the four weeks ended Aug. 28. Comparable revenue at Neiman Marcus Direct increased 2.5 percent.
· JoS. A. Bank Clothiers Inc., Hampstead, MD, produced a 25.3 percent jump in sales for the fiscal month ended Aug. 28, totaling $21.8 million. Comparable-store sales rose 6.4 percent. Combined catalog and Internet sales increased 35.1 percent.
· Chico's FAS Inc., Fort Myers, FL, reported sales for the four weeks ended Aug. 28 of $76.9 million, climbing 36.5 percent. Same-store sales experienced a 3.6 percent increase.
· Abercrombie & Fitch, New Albany, OH, said sales climbed 11 percent to $212.1 million for the four-week period. Comparable-store sales for the month dropped 5 percent.
· Limited Brands, Columbus, OH, reported net sales of $577.8 million for the four weeks, compared with $575.7 million in the year-ago period. A 2 percent dip was posted in same-store sales for the month.
· Federated Department Stores Inc., Cincinnati, said sales for the four weeks fell 2.7 percent to $1.047 billion compared with that period last year. On a same-store basis, sales for the month were down 2.4 percent.
· Nordstrom, Seattle, generated sales of $431.7 million for the four weeks, an 8.2 percent gain over last year. Same-store sales increased 7.2 percent.
· Reporting Wednesday was The Bombay Company Inc., Fort Worth, TX, which stated that total revenue declined 6 percent to $35.4 million for the four weeks. Same-store sales declined 19 percent.