J.C. Penney, Spiegel Catalog Sales Dip

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J.C. Penney Company Inc. and The Spiegel Group each reported losses in their catalog operations yesterday.


J.C. Penney, Plano, TX, said that catalog and e-commerce sales plummeted 31.6 percent, "reflecting the elimination of catalog participation in retail promotional events," during the four-week period that ended Nov. 24.


E-commerce sales, which are included under catalog operations, totaled $30 million in the period and $240 million year to date, compared with $39 million and $206 million during last year's respective periods.


Also, comparable department store sales increased 0.6 percent in the period.


Spiegel's e-commerce channel continued to grow during the four-week period, posting a sales increase of 15 percent. But the company suffered a 27 percent drop in catalog sales. Overall, direct sales declined 21 percent while the group's retail store sales fell 12 percent.


Spiegel, Downers Grove, IL, posted sales of $255.2 million during the four weeks ended Nov. 24, down 17 percent from sales of $306.7 million for the four weeks ended Nov. 25, 2000.


The company also reported that comparable-store sales for its Eddie Bauer division fell 21 percent during the four-week period.


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