May Sales Results Mostly Positive

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Primarily positive results overshadowed a few poor performances as many multichannel merchants reported May results yesterday.

One of the best performances for the month was reported by Abercrombie & Fitch Co., New Albany, OH. Its net sales for the four weeks ended May 28 jumped 43 percent from last year to $159 million. Comparable-store sales gained 29 percent in the period. The results were driven partly by denim sales that increased 166 percent companywide.

However, the bad news continued for Sharper Image, San Francisco, which saw companywide sales for the month fall 11 percent to $45.6 million. Same-store sales declined 15 percent while catalog/direct marketing sales decreased 27 percent to $10.1 million. Internet sales alone dropped 14 percent to $6.2 million.

Other companies reporting results yesterday:

· J.C. Penney Company Inc., Plano, TX, generated $1.29 billion in sales for the four weeks ended May 28, a 5.4 percent gain over the previous year. Same-store sales increased 3.5 percent for the month. Catalog/Internet sales totaled $193 million, a 7.8 percent gain, while Internet sales alone rose about 35 percent.

· Nordstrom Inc., Seattle, reported a 9.3 percent increase in sales for the four weeks ended May 28, totaling $545.5 million. Same-store sales rose 7.4 percent. Effective in February, Nordstrom's direct sales -- which include catalog and Internet -- were included in total retail same-store sales.

· Federated Department Stores Inc., Cincinnati, posted a 0.7 percent gain in sales for the four weeks ended May 28, totaling $1.19 billion. On a same-store basis, sales rose 0.8 percent.

· JoS. A. Bank Clothiers Inc., Hampstead, MD, said sales for the fiscal month ended May 28 increased 20.2 percent to $31.5 million. Same-store sales gained 5.6 percent. Combined catalog and Internet sales rose 18.7 percent.

· Limited Brands, Columbus, OH, experienced a 1 percent dip in same-store sales for the four weeks ended May 28. However, the month's net sales totaled $672.9 million compared with $641.4 million last year.

· The Talbots Inc., Hingham, MA, saw an 11 percent increase in sales in the fiscal month ended May 28, totaling $137.3 million. Comparable-store sales gained 4.1 percent in the period.

· Reporting on Wednesday was The Neiman Marcus Group, Dallas, which said revenue for the four weeks ended May 28 totaled $269 million, a 10.2 percent gain over the previous year. Comparable revenue overall rose 11 percent. In the Neiman Marcus Direct division, comparable revenue increased 14.1 percent.

· Also reporting Wednesday was The Bombay Company Inc., Fort Worth, TX, which generated $42.5 million in total sales for the four weeks ended May 28, up 13 percent over the previous year. Same-store sales rose 10 percent. Revenue from non-store activity, including the company's wholesale, Internet, mail-order and international businesses, amounted to 5 percent of total revenue for the period compared with 9 percent for the corresponding period last year.

Chantal Todé covers catalog and retail news and BTB marketing for DM News and DM To keep up with the latest developments in these areas, subscribe to our daily and weekly e-mail newsletters by visiting


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