Many Retailers Ring in New Year With Sales Increases

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Despite snowstorms in the Northeast, sales were positive for many retailers reporting January -- as well as quarterly and year-end -- sales yesterday.


For the fiscal 2004 fourth quarter, Federated Department Stores Inc., Cincinnati, posted sales of $5.07 billion, up 0.4 percent from the same period a year ago. Comparable-store sales for the quarter rose 0.8 percent.


Federated's full-year sales totaled $15.63 billion, a 2.4 percent gain over the previous year. Annual sales increased 2.6 percent on a same-store basis.


However, Federated reported total sales of $809 million in the four weeks ended Jan. 29, a 0.5 percent dip from the previous year. On a same-store basis, sales decreased 0.4 percent for the month.


Sears, Roebuck and Co., Hoffman Estates, IL, said domestic store revenue totaled $1.61 billion for the four weeks ended Jan. 29, a 1.7 percent increase from the same period a year ago. Comparable-store sales rose 0.8 percent for the month.


Other companies reporting results yesterday:


· The Neiman Marcus Group Inc., Dallas, posted total revenue of $236 million for the four weeks ended Jan. 29, a 10.1 percent gain over the same period a year ago. Overall comparable revenue increased 12.2 percent in the month while comparable revenue at Neiman Marcus Direct rose 18.2 percent. For the fiscal second quarter ended Jan. 29, Neiman Marcus generated total revenue of $1.13 billion, up 7.7 percent from the same period a year ago. Comparable revenue rose 10.4 percent in the quarter.


· J.C. Penney Company Inc., Plano, TX, said sales totaled $1.07 billion for the four weeks ended Jan. 29. This is down 11.9 percent compared to the five weeks ended Jan. 31, 2004, but a 5.4 percent gain when the extra week is excluded. Same-store sales rose 3.3 percent for the month. Catalog and Internet sales totaled $188 million for the month, a 12.1 percent decrease compared to last year's five-week period but a 12.6 gain without the extra week.


For the 13 weeks ended Jan. 29, sales totaled $6.08 billion, a 0.3 percent drop with the extra week but a 3.1 percent rise without it. Catalog and Internet sales for the quarter totaled $872 million, a 1.5 percent decline with the extra week and a 3.9 percent gain without it. J.C. Penney's annual sales totaled $18.43 billion, a 3.6 percent gain over the previous year. Comparable-store sales rose 4.8 percent for the year. Annual catalog and Internet sales totaled $2.74 billion, a 1.5 percent increase over the previous year.


· Nordstrom Inc., Seattle, reported total sales of $386.2 million for the four weeks ended Jan. 29, an 8.9 percent gain over the same period a year ago. Same-store sales rose 8.8 percent in the month. The company's fourth-quarter sales hit $2.1 billion, a 9.4 percent increase over a year ago. Comparable-store sales rose 7.2 percent for the quarter. Annual sales increased 10.9 percent to $7.1 billion. Same-store sales for the year rose 8.5 percent.


· Abercrombie & Fitch, New Albany, OH, said net sales jumped 30 percent for the four weeks ended Jan. 29 to $126.1 million. Comparable-store sales for the month rose 17 percent. In the fourth quarter ended Jan. 29, net sales increased 23 percent to $687.3 million. Same-store sales in the quarter gained 9 percent. Abercrombie's annual sales totaled $2.02 billion, an 18 percent rise from the previous year. Comparable-store sales increased 2 percent for the year.


· Limited Brands, Columbus, OH, posted net sales of $750.5 million for the four weeks ended Jan. 29. Net sales for the year-ago period were $677.4 million. Same-store sales for the month rose 9 percent. In the fourth quarter, the company said, net sales totaled $3.33 billion, a 3 percent gain over the previous year. Comparable-store sales increased 2 percent in the quarter. Annual sales totaled $9.41 billion, a 5 percent gain over the previous year. Same-store sales for the year rose 4 percent.


· The Talbots Inc., Hingham, MA, generated a 22 percent jump in company sales for the four weeks ended Jan. 29. For the month, sales totaled $128.4 million. Comparable-store sales increased 13.4 percent in the period. For the fiscal fourth quarter ended Jan. 29, sales totaled $480.4 million, up 11 percent from the previous year. Same-store sales rose 4.4 percent in the quarter. Also, catalog sales increased 20 percent to $72.4 million in the fourth quarter. Annual sales rose 7 percent to $1.73 billion. Same-store sales were up 1.7 percent for the year. Also, catalog sales increased 5 percent to $252.2 million.


· Sharper Image Corp., San Francisco, said that sales decreased 4 percent in January to $45.3 million. Same-store sales fell 9 percent in the period. Catalog/direct marketing sales plummeted 29 percent to $9.2 million while Internet sales increased 7 percent to $9.7 million. For the fourth quarter ended Jan. 31, company sales increased 7 percent to $288.5 million. Same-store sales decreased 6 percent. Catalog/direct marketing sales fell 2 percent to $53.6 million while Internet sales rose 11 percent to $48.6 million. Annual sales totaled $736.6 million, up 17 percent from the previous year. Same-store sales for the year decreased 1 percent. Catalog/direct marketing sales jumped 20 percent to $186.5 million while Internet sales accelerated 22 percent to $116.3 million.


· Chico's FAS Inc., Fort Myers, FL, said sales for the four weeks ended Jan. 29 totaled $68.3 million, a 23.6 percent gain over the previous year. Same-store sales rose 8.2 percent. For the fourth quarter ended Jan. 29, sales totaled $286 million, a 32.5 percent jump over the previous year. Same-store sales increased 12.9 percent in the quarter. Annual sales climbed 38.8 percent to $1.1 billion. Same-store sales rose 12.9 percent compared with a year ago.


· Casual Male Retail Group Inc., Canton, MA, posted total sales of $21.4 million for the four weeks ended Jan. 29, a 27.6 percent gain over the same period in the prior year. Same-store sales rose 2.9 percent for the month. In the fourth quarter, company sales totaled $118.1 million, a 25.1 percent gain over the previous year. Same-store sales rose 2.8 percent in the quarter. Annual sales increased 10.4 percent to $352 million while same-store sales rose 4.4 percent.


· JoS. A. Bank Clothiers Inc., Hampstead, MD, said sales for the fiscal month ended Jan. 29 increased 13.8 percent to $23.9 million. Same-store sales, however, fell 5.7 percent for the month. Sales in the direct segment rose 42.8 percent. In the fourth quarter, company sales totaled $127.9 million, a 26.8 percent gain over the same period a year ago. Same-store sales rose 9.4 percent. Combined catalog and Internet sales climbed 31 percent. Annual sales increased 24.3 percent to $372.5 million while same-store sales rose 8.4 percent. Combined catalog and Internet sales increased 22.7 percent.


· Reporting results Wednesday was The Bombay Company Inc., Fort Worth, TX, which said revenue for the four weeks ended Jan. 29 totaled $37.3 million, a 2 percent drop from the previous year. Same-store sales were flat for the month. For the fourth quarter, revenue declined 4 percent to $202.6 million and same-store sales dropped 8 percent. Annual sales decreased 4 percent to $575.3 million while same-store sales fell 12 percent.


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


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