Coldwater Creek Reports Direct Segment Sales Drop

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Direct sales at Coldwater Creek Inc. were down for its fourth quarter and 2003 fiscal year ending Jan. 31 despite an increase in overall performance.

Catalog net sales plummeted 32.6 percent to $52.8 million in the fiscal 2003 fourth quarter from $78.3 million in the fiscal 2002 fourth quarter. Catalog net sales were off 17.1 percent to $175.9 million in fiscal 2003 from $212.1 million in fiscal 2002.

E-commerce net sales declined 3.4 percent to $49.7 million in the fiscal 2003 fourth quarter from $51.4 million. E-commerce net sales decreased 4.4 percent to $148.3 million in fiscal 2003 from $155.1 million.

Overall, net sales from the direct segment dropped 21 percent in the quarter. Net sales from the direct segment decreased 11.7 percent for the year.

Still, Coldwater Creek, Sandpoint, ID, posted increases in quarterly and annual net income for the periods ended Jan. 31 compared with the year-ago periods.

Net income for the quarter increased 69.9 percent to $6.4 million versus the comparable period ended Feb. 1, 2003, though net sales in the quarter fell 3.1 percent. Net income in the fiscal year increased 58.6 percent from the comparable period last year, and net sales improved 3.5 percent.

Meanwhile, The Talbots Inc., Hingham, MA, announced a drop in its fourth-quarter net income for the period ended Jan. 31.

Net income in the quarter was $22 million, down from $28.3 million in the fourth quarter of fiscal 2002. Net sales in the quarter were about even at $431.5 million as opposed to $431.8 million last year. Retail store sales rose 2 percent. Included in retail store sales was a drop in comparable-store sales of 4.7 percent.

Catalog sales dropped 12 percent "due to a combination of very lean inventories and reduced circulation," the company said.

For the full fiscal year, net income declined 13 percent. Net sales increased 2 percent, and retail store sales improved 3 percent. Included in retail store sales was a drop in comparable-store sales of 3.8 percent in the 52-week period. Catalog sales fell 3 percent to $239.4 million compared with $247.4 million last year.

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