JC Penney Sees Drop in Catalog, Comp-Store Sales

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Though JC Penney continued to suffer sales declines, most retailers and catalogers to announce earnings this week reported increases.


* JC Penney, Plano, TX, saw comparable department store sales drop 3.8 percent for the four weeks ended Jan. 25. The company had a 5.9 percent gain last year. January sales were below plan, hurt by lower levels of end-of-season clearance merchandise resulting from strong December sales, the company said. In the fourth quarter, comparable-store sales rose 1.9 percent as JC Penney announced that department store and catalog operating profit would improve over last year.


Catalog sales plummeted 27.8 percent, a level the company called in line with expectations, to $153 million for the four weeks ending Jan. 25. Catalog sales fell 20.7 percent for the fourth quarter to $772 million compared with the same period last year. The catalog sector dropped 22 percent for the year to $2.61 billion. E-commerce sales, which are included in catalog, rose 21.4 percent in the fourth quarter. For the full year, e-commerce sales totaled $381 million, up 17.8 percent over last year.


* Sears, Roebuck and Co., Hoffman Estates, IL, posted domestic store revenue for the four weeks ended Feb. 1 of $1.6 billion, down 6.3 percent from the four weeks ended Feb. 2, 2002. Comparable domestic store revenue fell 8 percent.


* The Talbots Inc., Hingham, MA, reported that total sales for fiscal January were $111.2 million, up from $107.3 million for that period in 2002. Comparable store sales fell 2.9 percent in the month.


Sales in the fiscal fourth quarter, which ended Feb. 1, were $431.8 million, down from $433.2 million in last year's fourth quarter. Retail store sales were $363.5 million, compared with $362.7 million last year. Comparable store sales fell 6 percent, and catalog sales dropped 3 percent to $68.3 million.


Sales for the year were $1.6 billion, virtually unchanged from $1.61 billion last year. Retail store sales also were nearly even at $1.35 billion. Comparable store sales fell 6.6 percent while catalog sales dropped 7 percent to $247.4 million.


* Sharper Image Corp., San Francisco, said January sales skyrocketed 42 percent to $34.7 million from last January's $24.7 million. Total store sales rose 52 percent to $18.3 million, and comparable store sales increased 37 percent. Catalog sales were $10.3 million, up 16 percent. Internet sales excluding auction sales climbed 73 percent, and Internet sales including auction sales were up 64 percent to $6.1 million.


For the fourth quarter ending Jan. 31, sales rose 33 percent to $213.9 million from last year's fourth quarter. Total store sales increased 28 percent to $130.5 million. Comparable store sales climbed 13 percent. Catalog sales were up 30 percent. Internet sales excluding auction sales rose 66 percent. Internet sales including auction sales increased 61 percent to $33.1 million from $20.5 million.


For the fiscal year ended Jan. 31, sales rose 32 percent to $507 million. Total store sales increased 28 percent to $296.1 million. Comparable store sales climbed 14 percent. Catalog sales rose 40 percent to $141.4 million. Internet sales excluding auction sales increased 53 percent, and Internet sales including auction sales increased 40 percent to $69.5 million.


* Abercrombie & Fitch, New Albany, OH, reported net sales of $79.7 million for the four weeks ended Feb. 1, a 24 percent rise over last year's January sales of $64.3 million. January comparable store sales increased 3 percent from last year. Year to date, the company reported a net sales increase of 17 percent to $1.6 billion from $1.37 billion last year. Comparable store sales fell 5 percent from last year.


* Chico's FAS Inc., Fort Myers, FL, said sales in the four weeks ended Feb. 1 rose 27.8 percent to $36.9 million. Comparable store sales for company-owned stores increased 8.1 percent for the four weeks.


Sales for the fourth quarter ended Feb. 1 rose 36.4 percent to $138 million, and quarterly comparable store sales for company-owned stores climbed 11 percent versus last year's quarter. For the year ending Feb. 1, sales rose 40.5 percent to $531 million. Comparable store sales for company-owned stores increased 13.5 percent.


* Limited Brands, Columbus, OH, posted a 2 percent comparable store sales increase for the four weeks ended Feb. 1 compared with the four weeks ended Feb. 2, 2002. Net sales were $563.9 million, up 8 percent from $522 million last year.


The company reported a comparable store sales increase of 3 percent for the year ended Feb. 1. Net sales reached $8.45 billion, up 7 percent from adjusted sales of $7.93 billion last year. Adjusted sales in 2001 exclude sales from Lane Bryant, which was sold to Charming Shoppes Inc. in August 2001. Net sales for the year ended Feb. 2, 2002, including Lane Bryant, totaled $8.42 billion.


Sales within Victoria's Secret Direct totaled $301.4 million in its 2002 fourth quarter compared with $265.8 million in the year-ago period, while its totals for 2002 and 2001 were $938.7 million and $869.1 million, respectively.


* Restoration Hardware Inc., Corte Madera, CA, recorded net sales in the fourth quarter ended Feb. 1 of $153.4 million, up 6 percent from last year's Q4. Quarterly comparable store sales increased 3.3 percent. Sales in the direct-to-customer division, which includes catalog and Internet, rose 26 percent in the quarter.


In the 52 weeks ended Feb. 1, net sales were $398.6 million, up 9 percent from $366.5 million in the 52 weeks ended Feb. 2, 2002. Comparable store sales for fiscal 2002 rose 6.3 percent while sales in the direct-to-customer division were up 33 percent in fiscal 2002 compared to fiscal 2001.


* Urban Outfitters Inc., Philadelphia, said sales in the fourth quarter ended Jan. 31 were up 13 percent to $117.8 million versus last year's fourth quarter. Comparable store sales rose 1.3 percent, less than the 8.3 percent increase last year. Comparable store sales were up 5 percent at Urban Retail but down 3 percent at Anthropologie Retail, as compared with increases of 3 percent and 17 percent, respectively, last year. Direct-to-consumer sales rose 22 percent for the quarter.


Sales for the 12 months ended Jan. 31 were up 21 percent to $423 million versus $349 million in the prior-year period. Comparable store sales increased 9.1 percent, with Urban Retail up 7 percent and Anthropologie Retail up 12 percent. Direct-to-consumer sales rose 29 percent for the year to $32 million. DTC sales totaled $9.63 million in the three months ended Jan. 31 compared with $7.92 million in the comparable period last year.


* Federated Department Stores Inc., Cincinnati, posted sales of $775 million in the four weeks ended Feb. 1 compared with $774 million in that period last year. On a same-store basis, January sales fell 1.2 percent.


In the fourth quarter, sales reached $5.02 billion, a 2.2 percent drop from $5.13 billion in the comparable period last year. On a same-store basis, sales fell 3.9 percent in the quarter. Sales for fiscal 2002 totaled $15.44 billion, down 1.4 percent from $15.65 billion for fiscal 2001. On a same-store basis, annual sales slid 3 percent.


* The Neiman Marcus Group Inc., Dallas, disclosed preliminary company-wide revenues of $188 million during the four weeks ended Feb. 1, which represented a 5.1 percent increase over the comparable period ended Jan. 26, 2002. Total revenue for the second quarter ended Feb. 1 was $939 million , a 3.4 percent increase above last year's second quarter. Neiman Marcus Direct second quarter fiscal year 2003 revenues were 11.7 percent above last year.


* J. Crew Group Inc., New York, said revenue for the four weeks ended Feb. 1 totaled $33.7 million compared to $35.9 million in the four weeks ended Feb. 2, 2002. Comparable store sales dropped 19 percent during the four weeks versus the comparable period last year. Net sales for the Direct division fell 4.5 percent in the comparable four-week period.


During the 13 weeks ended Feb. 1, revenue reached $241.7 million versus $246.7 million in the 13 weeks ended Feb. 2, 2002. Comparable store sales for the Retail division fell 7.5 percent and net sales in the Direct division dropped 6.2 percent.


In the 52 weeks ended Feb. 1, revenue totaled $766.3 million versus $778 million for the 52 weeks ended Feb. 2, 2002, a drop of 1.5 percent. Comparable store sales for the Retail division fell 10.4 percent for the 52 weeks ended Feb. 1 versus the comparable period last year. Net sales for the Direct division fell 4 percent for the comparable 52-week period. Internet and catalog revenues for the four weeks ended Feb. 1 totaled $7.9 million and $4.8 million, respectively, compared with $7.4 million and $5.9 million, respectively, in the comparable year-ago period. In the 13 weeks ended Feb. 1, Internet totaled $47.9 million and catalog reached $38 million, with comparable totals of $44.6 million and $47 million, respectively, for the comparable period last year. And for the 52 weeks ended Feb. 1, Internet accounted for $139.4 million and catalog reached $108.6 million, with comparable year-ago totals of $122.9 million and $135.3 million.


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