Sales Keep Fizzling for Gadget DMers in July

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While the bad news continued for several high-tech DMers reporting results yesterday, others fared better.


July's summer wind blew sales away from Sharper Image. The San Francisco company said sales for the calendar month ended July 31 totaled $42 million, a 3 percent drop from last year. Same-store sales fell 2 percent. Also, catalog/direct marketing sales totaled $8.9 million, a 25 percent decline over last year. Even Internet sales were down 12 percent, reaching only $5.5 million.


For the six months ended July 31, sales dropped 8 percent to $274.8 million while same-store sales fell 13 percent. Also, catalog/DM sales totaled $67.2 million, a 20 percent decline.


Brookstone, the other purveyor of high-tech gadgets, also lost sales. The Merrimack, NH, company said sales dipped 6.6 percent to $87.5 million in the second quarter while same-store sales declined 10 percent. Direct marketing sales decreased 1.7 percent to $13.1 million.


For the first six months, sales totaled $164.3 million, a 2.2 percent drop from last year, while same-store sales fell 7.3 percent. However, DM sales climbed 5.7 percent to $24 million, thanks partly to a 4.3 percent increase in circulation.


Other companies reporting results yesterday:


· Abercrombie & Fitch, New Albany, OH, said sales totaled $191 million for the four weeks ended July 30, a 33 percent increase. Comparable-store sales jumped 22 percent in the period. Year-to-date, the company reported sales skyrocketed 38 percent to $1.12 billion. Same-store sales rose 24 percent.


· Casual Male Retail Group Inc., Canton, MA, had a 23.4 percent increase in sales in the quarter, totaling $100.6 million. Comparable-store sales climbed 2.5 percent. For the six months ended July 30, sales rose 24 percent to $197.9 million while same-store sales were up 2.4 percent.


· Chico's FAS Inc., Fort Myers, FL, saw a 33.5 percent jump in sales for the four weeks ended July 30, totaling $94.8 million. Same-store sales gained 14 percent. In the first half, sales totaled $670 million, a 31 percent increase, while comparable-store sales gained 13.2 percent.


· Sales totaled $998 million for the four weeks ended July 30, a 0.8 percent decrease, for Federated Department Stores Inc., Cincinnati. On a same-store basis, July sales fell 0.9 percent. Year-to-date, Federated's sales totaled $7.27 billion, up 1.9 percent, while comparable-store sales rose 1.8 percent.


· J.C. Penney Co. Inc., Plano, TX, reported sales of $1.185 billion for the four weeks ended July 30, a 2.6 percent increase. Same-store sales rose 1.6 percent. Also, catalog/Internet sales totaled $182 million, up 4 percent. Year-to-date sales totaled $8.099 billion, a 4.5 percent increase, while same-store sales rose 3.5 percent. Catalog/Internet sales totaled $1.250 billion, a 6.2 percent gain.


· JoS. A. Bank Clothiers Inc., Hampstead, MD, posted a 15.3 percent rise in sales for the fiscal month ended July 30, to $27.1 million. Comparable-store sales rose 0.5 percent while combined catalog and Internet sales increased 21.5 percent. Year-to-date sales climbed 20.6 percent to $195.2 million while same-store sales rose 4.5 percent. Combined catalog and Internet sales increased 24.9 percent.


· The Neiman Marcus Group Inc., Dallas, said sales totaled $232 million for the four weeks ended July 30, a 7.3 percent gain over last year. Comparable revenue rose 8.8 percent in the period, while comparable revenue at Neiman Marcus Direct increased 21.4 percent. For the firm's fiscal 2005 ended July 30, sales totaled $3.82 billion, up 8.4 percent, while comparable revenue increased 9.9 percent.


· Nordstrom Inc., Seattle, saw a 5.4 percent increase in sales for the four weeks ended July 30, totaling $787.2 million. Same-store sales were up 3.6 percent. For the first half of the year, sales totaled $3.8 billion, a 7.8 percent gain over last year, while comparable-store sales rose 6.2 percent.


· The Talbots Inc., Hingham, MA, posted a 20 percent increase in sales for fiscal July, totaling $114.7 million. Comparable-store sales rose 11.3 percent for the month. Year-to-date sales reached $896.1 million, a 10 percent gain over last year. Comparable-store sales increased 5.5 percent while direct marketing sales climbed 11 percent to $129.2 million.


· On Wednesday, The Bombay Company Inc., Fort Worth, TX, said revenue totaled $33.6 million for the four weeks ended July 30, a 3 percent dip from last year. Same-store sales also dropped 3 percent. Revenue from non-store activity, including Internet, mail-order, Bailey Street and international, was 5 percent of total revenue compared with 10 percent last year. About $1.4 million of the $1.8 million decline was related to Bailey Street, which was sold to management in June.


For the first half of the year, revenue increased 1 percent to $250.1 million while same-store sales declined 2 percent. Revenue from non-store activity was 5 percent of total revenue compared to 9 percent last year.


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