One-Time Charge Hurts Blair Corp's Earnings

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First quarter net sales for Blair Corp. were $133 million, up slightly from $130 million in last year's first quarter, the company announced yesterday.


The company had a loss of $231,946. That was affected, however, by the one-time $2.5 million cost of a separation program offered to the nearly 325 employees impacted by the consolidation of its three specialty catalogs into the flagship Blair Shoppe catalog. Fifty employees participated in Blair's voluntary separation program rather than relocate or accept other positions in the company.


Without the one-time charge, Blair would have reported a net income of $1.2 million for the quarter.


Consolidating the specialty catalogs into the main book is part of the cataloger's strategic plan to increase profitability and reduce inventory management and catalog production costs in the home products line.


In January, Blair announced plans to invest $23 million to modernize and enhance its merchandise fulfillment capabilities and capacity. As a result, the company's merchandise returns operations will be relocated and its mailing operations will be outsourced to an Atlanta-based company.


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