Catalog Sales Up At The Talbots, Spiegel & Successories

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A strong U.S. economy, low employment and almost no inflation has given a sales boost to some catalogers in what is traditionally a less busy season.


At The Talbots Inc., total company sales for fiscal June were reported up last week at 11 percent to $130.00 million from 117.3 million for the same period in 1998. At Spiegel Inc., total sales for the five weeks ended July 3, 1999 were up 14 percent from $234.4 million last year. Successories catalogs increased by 12.8 percent for the five weeks ended July 3, 1999. And on a year-to-date basis, domestic sales for Successories catalogs were up 13.8 percent for the five months ended July 3, 1999.


In a published report noting similar department store increases at Wal-Mart, Target and Kmart, Thomas Tashjian, a retail analyst at Bank of America Securities in San Francisco said consumers were "flush with cash and eager to spend."


Other analysts claim consumers are feeling very strong about the economy and that their behavior is being reflected accordingly in their recent buy sprees across a variety of distribution channels.


At Federated, catalog and Internet revenue from its recently-acquired Fingerhut division helped push total combined sales to 18.5 percent. Total store and catalog sales were also up 11 percent at The Limited, Columbus, OH.
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