Financial Results Roll in for Top Retailers

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More than a dozen of the most well-known U.S. retailers, many of whom operate catalog and/or e-commerce divisions, announced their most recent financial results Thursday with some providing performance information Wednesday.


The results, according to news releases and media reports, include:


* J.C. Penney Company Inc.'s catalog sales fell to $465 million in the five-week period that ended Dec. 29, a decline of 20.1 percent from the same period in 2000. Online sales, which are included in the catalog sales figure, were $62 million in December, down from $65 million in December 2000. J.C. Penney, Plano, TX, posted a 5.4 percent increase in comparable department store sales for the five weeks that ended Dec. 29.


* Abercrombie & Fitch, New Albany, OH, reported net sales of $249.6 million during the five-week period that ended Jan. 5, a 3 percent increase over the same period in 2000.


* Sears, Roebuck and Co., Hoffman Estates, IL, said total domestic store revenue for the five weeks ended Jan. 5 was $4.18 billion, a 1.6 percent decrease from the same period a year ago.


* Net sales for The Limited Inc., Columbus, OH, for the five-week period that ended Jan. 5 were $1.745 billion, compared with sales of $1.891 billion for the five weeks ended Dec. 30, 2000. Intimate Brands Inc., of which The Limited is the majority owner, said that its net sales reached $1.146 billion during the five-week holiday period compared with $1.117 billion for the comparable period a year ago.


* The Spiegel Group, Downers Grove, IL, reported that sales fell to $447.8 million in the five weeks ended Dec. 29, a 17 percent drop from $537.1 million a year earlier, while total sales fell 9 percent to $2.782 billion for the year ended Dec. 29 compared with $3.061 billion for the same period during the previous year. Sales recorded by the group's e-commerce channel grew 20 percent in December. However, total direct sales fell 16 percent, and the group's retail store sales decreased 17 percent.


* Brookstone Inc., Nashua, NH, said that its holiday sales for the two months ended Jan. 5 fell 5 percent to $154 million compared with the same period last year. Same-store sales fell 11.3 percent in the period. Sales in the direct-to-customer segment decreased 10.3 percent to $24 million compared with the same period last year. Year-to-date total sales decreased 2.5 percent to $337 million with same-store sales falling 9.3 percent year to date. Sales in the direct-to-customer segment fell 1.5 percent to $60 million on the year.


* Urban Outfitters Inc., Philadelphia, said its total revenue for December rose 22 percent to $47 million from $38.4 million a year ago. The growth was fueled by a 7.5 percent increase in comparable store sales and sales from non-comparable and new stores. Direct-to-consumer sales for the month were "relatively flat." Sales for the 11 months ended Dec. 31 rose 18 percent to $323.1 million from $274.4 million a year ago. Comparable store sales for the 11-month period increased 1.8 percent.


* The Bombay Company Inc., Fort Worth, TX, said same-store sales for the five weeks ended Jan. 5 were flat compared with the same period a year ago. Total revenue increased 6 percent to $80.5 million. Total revenue for the fiscal year-to-date reporting periods rose 6 percent to $412.2 million from $390.6 million last year. However, same- store sales fell 1 percent for the 48-week period ended Jan. 5. Total revenue increased 5 percent.


* Learning and performance services firm Franklin Covey, Salt Lake City, said sales from continuing operations for its fiscal first quarter of 2002, ended Nov. 24, decreased 33 percent to $84.3 million from $125.6 million a year ago. The company reported an after-tax loss of $21.7 million compared with net income of $4.4 million in the same quarter during the prior year. Sales from the fall catalog fell more than 40 percent in the quarter. Catalog and e-commerce revenue decreased 38 percent to $19.4 million from $31.6 million during the same quarter a year ago.


* Williams-Sonoma Inc., San Francisco, said that holiday 2001 net revenue for the nine weeks ended Dec. 30 increased 12.2 percent to $588.8 million, including $27.7 million in shipping fees, compared with $524.6 million during the nine weeks ended Dec. 31, 2000, which included $25.4 million in shipping fees. Retail holiday sales during the nine-week period totaled $397 million, an increase of 16.9 percent from the prior year's comparable nine-week period. Comparable store sales increased 5.5 percent compared to a 3.4 percent increase last year. Williams-Sonoma and Pottery Barn comparable store sales "were positive in the mid-single digits" while Pottery Barn Kids comparable store sales were positive in the low double digits. Direct-to-customer holiday sales for the recently concluded nine-week period totaled $164.1 million, an increase of 2.9 percent from the prior year's comparable nine-week period. Strong growth in the Pottery Barn Kids brand drove the majority of this increase. The Williams-Sonoma and Pottery Barn brands delivered mid-single digit and low single digit year-over-year percentage sales increases, respectively.


* Federated Department Stores Inc., Cincinnati, reported sales at its stores open at least a year declined a "less-than-expected" 8.6 percent during December from a year earlier. The company had expected same-store sales to fall 9 percent to 9.5 percent. Its initial forecast was for an 11 percent to 14 percent decline. Total sales during the five-week period ended Jan. 5 dropped 8.7 percent to $3.004 billion from $3.291 billion a year earlier.


* Wal-Mart Stores Inc., Bentonville, AR, said that sales at stores open at least a year increased 8 percent in December, beating company forecasts. Net sales in the five weeks ended Jan. 4 increased 16.2 percent to $28.84 billion from $24.82 billion a year earlier.


* Kmart Corp., Troy, MI, posted a 1 percent drop in December sales at stores open at least a year. Total net sales during the five weeks ended Jan. 2 dropped to $5.524 billion from $5.539 billion a year earlier. Sales during the holiday period, Nov. 22 to Dec. 26, at its stores open at least a year came in at the low end of its growth target of "nil to 2 percent."


* Restoration Hardware Inc., Corte Madera, CA, reported holiday sales of $121.6 million, an increase of 8.9 percent compared with $111.7 million during the same period a year ago. Comparable store sales for the nine-week holiday period ended Jan. 5 increased 6.9 percent from the previous year. For the fiscal 2000 holiday season, same-store sales increased 5.7 percent. Sales for the direct-to-customer division, including catalog and e-commerce, during the 2001 holiday period increased 52.3 percent from the same period in fiscal 2000.


* J. Crew Group Inc., New York, said that revenue for the five weeks ended Jan. 5 totaled $124.6 million compared with $148.2 million during the five weeks ended Dec. 30, 2000. Comparable store sales for the company's Retail division fell 13.3 percent during the five weeks ended Jan. 5 compared to the five weeks ended Jan. 6, 2001. Net sales for the Direct division fell 14.4 percent for the comparable five-week period. For the 48 weeks ended Jan. 5, revenue totaled $742.1 million compared to $773.4 million for the 48 weeks ended Dec. 30, 2000. Comparable store sales for the Retail division dropped 15.1 percent during the 48 weeks ended Jan. 5 compared to the 48 weeks ended Jan. 6, 2001. Net sales for the Direct division fell 9 percent for the comparable 48-week period.


* Coach Inc., Chicago, said that sales at stores open at least a year were up 0.6 percent during its fiscal second quarter compared with the same period a year ago. Retail store performance was down 0.5 percent while sales at outlet stores open at least a year increased 2 percent. The company's total quarterly sales increased 12 percent to $235.8 million from $211 million.


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