Direct Sales a Driving Force in February SalesDirect-to-consumer sales continued to help make positive results for several multichannel merchants reporting February sales results yesterday.
Internet sales through jcp.com represented J.C. Penney Co. Inc.'s fastest growing sales channel and jumped 24 percent for the four weeks ended Feb. 25. The Plano, TX-based company's overall sales increased 3.7 percent to $1.3 billion while comparable store sales inched up 2.3 percent. Direct sales rose 4.5 percent to $209 million.
Comparable revenue for the four weeks ended Feb. 25 was up 8.6 percent for Neiman Marcus Direct. Comparable revenues in its specialty retail stores segment, which includes Neiman Marcus stores and Bergdorf Goodman, rose 3.5 percent. The Dallas-based merchant's overall revenues increased 5.8 percent to $291 million.
Meanwhile, sales continued their freefall across all channels at Sharper Image, San Francisco, which reported a 33 percent drop in sales for the month ended Feb. 28 for a total of $30.5 million. Comparable-store sales plummeted 31 percent. Also, catalog/direct marketing sales dropped 45 percent to $6.7 million while Internet sales decreased 32 percent to $4.7 million.
Other companies reporting results:
· JoS. A. Bank Clothiers Inc., Hampstead, MD, said sales for the fiscal month ended Feb. 25 increased 18.2 percent to $33.8 million. Same-store sales rose 3.3 percent during the same period while combined catalog and Internet sales soared 37.6 percent.
· Federated Department Stores Inc., Cincinnati, saw a slight 1 percent gain in same-store sales for the four weeks ended Feb. 26. Overall sales totaled $1.8 billion, a 64.1 percent jump. Federated's total sales include last summer's May Company acquisition. Same-store sales include only Macy's and Bloomingdale's locations. Excluded from total sales are 68 duplicate stores currently in clearance sale mode as well as the Lord & Taylor and bridal group divisions, which the company intends to divest and are being treated as discontinued operations.
· Nordstrom Inc., Seattle, generated a 7.2 percent increase in preliminary sales for the four weeks ended Feb. 25 to reach $499 million. Same-store sales increased 4.9 percent during the same period.
· Talbots Inc., Hingham, MA, said sales for February fell 2 percent to $91.4 million. Same-store sales dropped 6 percent, hurt by the snowstorm that hit much of the country in the middle of the month. For the fourth quarter ended Jan. 29, Talbots' sales increased 3 percent to reach $486.2 million. Same-store sales rose 1.6 percent during the same period while direct marketing sales increased 3 percent to $72.1 million.
Fourth-quarter net income totaled $19.8 million compared to last year's $15.4 million. Sales for the year were up 7 percent to $1.81 billion. Comparable store sales rose 2.6 percent while direct marketing sales increased 9 percent to $265 million. Net income for the year totaled $93.2 million compared to $95.4 million last year.
· Limited Brands, Columbus, OH, saw a 4 percent increase in net sales for the four weeks ended Feb. 25 for a total of $635.8 million. Same-store sales were up 5 percent during the same period.
· Abercrombie & Fitch, New Albany, OH, said net sales for the four weeks ended Feb. 25 reached $192.7 million, a 21 percent gain over last year. Same-store sales rose 5 percent during the same period.
Reporting results Wednesday was The Bombay Company Inc., Fort Worth, TX, which said overall revenue inched up 0.6 percent for the four weeks ended Feb. 25 for a total of $35 million. Same-store sales increased 4.2 percent during the same period, and Internet sales declined slightly.
Chico's FAS Inc., Fort Myers, FL, said sales climbed 31.6 percent for the fourth quarter ended Jan. 28 to reach $376 million. Same-store sales increased 14.6 percent during the same period. The company's fourth-quarter net income soared 34.9 percent to $44 million compared to a net income of $33 million.
Net sales for the fiscal year ended Jan. 28 jumped 31.7 percent to $1.4 billion. Same-store sales increased 14.3 percent during the same period. Net income for the year rose 37.4 percent to $194 million compared to net income of $141 million last year.
Chantal Todé covers catalog and retail news and BTB marketing for DM News and DM News.com. To keep up with the latest developments in these areas, subscribe to our daily and weekly e-mail newsletters by visiting www.dmnews.com/newsletters