Multichannel Merchants Post Gains in August

Sales were up across the board for multichannel merchants reporting August results yesterday, with one exception.

Sharper Image Corp.'s slump continued with a 15 percent decrease in sales for the calendar month ended Aug. 31. The San Francisco-based company's August sales totaled $36.6 million versus $43.3 million last year while comparable-store sales dropped 14 percent for the month. Catalog/direct marketing sales totaled $7.2 million, down 35 percent. Internet sales dropped 12 percent to $5.4 million.

On the other hand, the good news continued for Chico's FAS Inc., Fort Myers, FL, which reported a 32 percent sales gain for the four weeks ended Aug. 27, totaling $101.5 million. Same-store sales rose 14 percent in the period.

Other companies reporting results:

· JoS. A. Bank Clothiers Inc., Hampstead, MD, said sales for the fiscal month ended Aug. 27 increased 29.8 percent to $28.3 million. Same-store sales rose 12.9 percent in the period. Also, combined catalog and Internet sales jumped 34.9 percent.

· The Neiman Marcus Group Inc., Dallas, generated a 6.5 percent revenue increase for the four weeks ended Aug. 27, totaling $255 million. Comparable revenue rose 8.2 percent company-wide. Comparable revenue in the company's direct division increased 8.4 percent.

· Federated Department Stores Inc., Cincinnati, posted a 1.3 percent gain in sales for the four weeks ended Aug. 27, totaling $1.07 billion. On a same-store basis, sales increased 1.1 percent. Beginning this month, Federated will report total store sales including May Co., which Federated recently acquired.

· The Talbots Inc., Hingham, MA, saw a 9 percent increase in sales for the four weeks ended Aug. 27, totaling $93.1 million. Same-store sales climbed 2.3 percent in the period.

· J.C. Penney Co. Inc., Plano, TX, reported sales of $1.57 billion for the four weeks ended Aug. 27, a 3.2 percent gain over last year. Same-store sales rose 2.8 percent. Catalog/Internet sales were flat, totaling $194 million. Internet sales alone increased nearly 30 percent.

· Nordstrom Inc. said sales totaled $472.9 million for the four weeks ended Aug. 27, a 9.5 percent increase versus last year. Same-store sales rose 8 percent in the period.

· On Wednesday, The Bombay Company Inc., Fort Worth, TX, posted revenue totaling $39.5 million for the four weeks ended Aug. 27, a 12 percent gain from last year. Comparable-store sales rose 11 percent. Also, revenue from non-store activity was 5 percent of total revenue in August compared with 10 percent last year, a decline of $1.7 million.

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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