Catalogers See Mixed June Results

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Catalogers and retailers issued a mix bag of revenue results yesterday.

The Sharper Image reported a 45 percent increase in catalog sales. Sales were $7.1 million in June, up from $4.9 million last June. However, the San Francisco-based company took a hit with its e-commerce business, which saw an 11 percent decrease to $3.3 million, from $3.7 million last June. Total company sales decreased 1 percent to $27.7 million for the month.

Federated Department Stores Inc., Cincinnati, saw a 10.4 percent decrease in total sales for June compared with the same period last year. The company reported sales of $1.4 billion for the five weeks ending July 7, compared with $1.5 billion in the year-ago period. The decrease reflected the company's downsizing of its Fingerhut unit and the closing of its Stern's department store division.

The Spiegel Group, Downers Grove, IL, reported that sales dipped 8 percent to $246.3 million for the five weeks ending June 30. Last year the company reported sales of $267.1 million for the same period.

Spiegel did see a 46 percent increase in its e-commerce business, but it suffered an 18 percent decrease in catalog sales and a 5 percent dip in retail sales. The company also reported that comparable-store sales for its Eddie Bauer division decreased 11 percent for the five weeks.

In Plano, TX, JCPenney reported that its department stores and Eckerd Drugstores saw sales increases of 3.8 percent and 7 percent, respectively, in June compared with the same period last year.

But catalog sales for June took a major hit, resulting in a 29.3 percent decrease from the prior-year period. Sales were affected primarily by the later distribution of the fall/winter big book and overall weak consumer demand, the company reported. E-commerce sales, which are included in the catalog results, totaled $20 million in June, up from $18 million last June.

Sears, Roebuck and Co., Hoffman Estates, IL, said total domestic store revenue was flat at $2.81 billion for the five weeks ending July 8.

J. Crew's direct business saw its June catalog sales rise to $9.8 million from $7.1 million last year. Its e-commerce business saw a slight decrease to $19.8 million from $20.4 million last year.


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