February Sales Run Hot and Cold

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Though February left a few retailers/DMers out in the cold, as evidenced by those reporting a drop in results yesterday, others experienced an early thaw as most companies posted single- or double-digit sales increases.

Falling into the second category was Sears, Roebuck and Co., Hoffman Estates, IL, which generated a 2.2 percent increase in domestic store revenue to $1.78 billion for the four weeks ended Feb. 26. On a same-store basis, domestic store revenue rose 1.3 percent in the period.

J.C. Penney Company Inc., Plano, TX, reported that sales totaled $1.28 billion for the four weeks ended Feb. 26, up 6.6 percent from the same period last year. Comparable-store sales rose 6.1 percent in the month. The company's catalog/Internet business saw a 6.4 percent gain in volume, totaling $200 million in sales. Internet sales alone increased nearly 35 percent in February.

Other companies reporting results yesterday included:

· Federated Department Stores Inc., Cincinnati, reported sales totaling $1.09 billion for the four weeks ended Feb. 26, a 1.6 percent increase from the year-ago period. On a same-store basis, sales were up 1.8 percent for the month.

· Nordstrom Inc., Seattle, posted an 8.4 percent increase in sales for the four weeks ended Feb. 26, totaling $463.2 million. Comparable-store sales rose 7 percent in the period.

· Limited Brands, Columbus, OH, reported net sales of $611.4 million for the four weeks ended Feb. 26 compared with $607.9 million for the same period last year. Same-store sales dropped 4 percent during the month.

· Abercrombie & Fitch Co., New Albany, OH, generated net sales of $159.9 million for the four weeks ended Feb. 26, a 33 percent gain over the year-ago period. Comparable-store sales for February jumped 19 percent.

· The Talbots Inc., Hingham, MA, said sales for the four weeks ended Feb. 26 totaled $95 million, a 13 percent gain over last year. Same-store sales rose 8.1 percent for the month.

· JoS. A. Bank Clothiers Inc., Hampstead, MD, posted a 19.2 percent jump in sales for the fiscal month ended Feb. 26, reaching $28.6 million. Comparable-store sales increased 3.1 percent in the period. Combined catalog and Internet sales climbed 20.4 percent.

· Sharper Image Corp., San Francisco, reported that sales dropped 13 percent for the fiscal month ended Feb. 28 to $45.4 million. Comparable-store sales plummeted 20 percent. Catalog/direct marketing sales decreased 16 percent to $12.2 million while Internet sales dipped 14 percent to $6.9 million.

· Reporting results Wednesday was The Bombay Company Inc., Fort Worth, TX, which said revenue for the four weeks ended Feb. 26 fell 2 percent to $34.9 million. Same-store sales declined 6.5 percent in the period.

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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