Income Dips for Brookstone, Talbots

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Brookstone Inc., Nashua, NH, posted a net loss of $6.5 million for the first quarter of fiscal 2002 ended May 4, compared with a net loss of $5.2 million in the prior fiscal first quarter, the company said yesterday.


Total sales in the 13-week period rose 3 percent to $56.6 million from $55 million in the first fiscal quarter last year. Same-store sales for the comparable 13 weeks fell 3.3 percent while direct marketing sales dropped 3.4 percent on a circulation decrease of 20 percent.


"The direct marketing channel exceeded expectations, Michael Anthony, chairman/president/CEO, said in a statement. "Operating results for this segment improved substantially over the first quarter of the prior year due to a strong increase in sales per book and significant growth in the Internet."


Brookstone operates a direct marketing business that includes three catalogs: Brookstone, Hard-to-Find Tools and Gardeners Eden.


Also, The Talbots Inc., Hingham, MA, announced results for the 13-week period ended May 4 compared with the period ended May 5, 2001.


Net sales in the quarter fell 2 percent to $391.3 million from $401.1 million. Retail store sales dropped to $321.7 million from $323.1 million last year. Included in retail store sales was a falloff in comparable-store sales of 7.2 percent. Catalog sales slid 11 percent to $69.6 million from $78 million, in part from planned reductions in circulation.


Net income in the quarter totaled $35 million, down from $40.1 million.


"Primarily impacting our results during the period were softness in our dress and structured suit business, as well as a weak start to our mid-season sale in March." Arnold B. Zetcher, chairman/president/CEO, said in a statement. "These issues were somewhat offset, however, by exceptional regular-price selling in the second week of April. During the quarter, we achieved net income of 9 percent of sales."


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