Some Retailers Suffer Longer From Hurricanes

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With a few exceptions, multichannel merchants reporting October sales results yesterday still appear to be recovering from the aftermath of several devastating hurricanes.


Chico's FAS Inc., based in Fort Myers, FL, close to where Hurricane Wilma struck last month, said sales for the four weeks ended Oct. 29 increased 31.8 percent to $114 million. Comparable-store sales rose 17.9 percent. The company's third-quarter sales increased 33 percent to $359 million while comparable-store sales climbed 16 percent. Year-to-date, sales totaled $1.03 billion, a 31.7 percent gain over last year, and same-store sales rose 14.2 percent.


In contrast, Federated Department Stores Inc. said late Wednesday that five of its stores remain closed -- three in Florida and two in New Orleans -- as a result of hurricane damage.


The Cincinnati-based chain reported sales for the four weeks ended Oct. 29 of $2.14 billion, a 92.9 percent increase. Same-store sales decreased 0.7 percent. Federated's September and October total sales include the May Company acquisition, completed Aug. 30. Comparable sales include only Macy's and Bloomingdale's locations open for more than a year.


For the third quarter, the company's sales totaled $5.79 billion, a 64.2 percent gain. On a same-store basis, sales were up 0.6 percent. Year-to-date, Federated's sales totaled $13.05 billion, up 22.5 percent, while comparable-store sales rose 1.4 percent.


Other companies reporting results:


* Nordstrom Inc., Seattle, saw an 8.7 percent increase in sales for the four weeks ended Oct. 29 to $556.2 million. Same-store sales rose 6.4 percent in the period. Third-quarter sales totaled $1.7 billion, an 8 percent gain over last year, while same-store sales rose 5.9 percent. Year-to-date sales totaled $5.4 billion, a 7.9 percent increase, while same-store sales gained 6.1 percent.


* Casual Male Retail Group Inc., Canton, MA, posted a 25.7 percent increase in sales for its fiscal third quarter ended Oct. 29 for a total of $93.8 million. Same-store sales increased 3.7 percent in the period. For the nine months ended Oct. 29, sales rose 24.5 percent to $291.7 million while same-store sales gained 3.1 percent.


* Limited Brands, Columbus, OH, said net sales declined 1 percent for the four weeks ended Oct. 29 for a total of $629 million. Same-store sales dropped 4 percent. Third-quarter net sales were flat compared with last year and totaled $1.89 billion. Same-store sales decreased 3 percent. Year-to-date, net sales increased 1 percent to $6.16 billion while same-store sales decreased 3 percent.


* Abercrombie & Fitch Co., New Albany, OH, reported sales of $189.2 million for the four weeks ended Oct. 29, a 41 percent jump from last year. Same-store sales for the month increased 31 percent.


* Sharper Image Corp., San Francisco, saw a 24 percent drop in sales for the calendar month ended Oct. 31 to $45.9 million. Same-store sales in October decreased 18 percent while catalog/direct marketing sales declined 41 percent to $13.5 million. Internet sales fell 22 percent to $6.5 million. Third-quarter sales totaled $119.6 million, a 20 percent decrease. Comparable-store sales dropped 18 percent in the period while catalog/DM sales decreased 36 percent to $31.2 million. Internet sales fell 17 percent to $17.4 million.


Year-to-date, Sharper Image's sales totaled $394.5 million, a 12 percent decrease. Same-store sales for the nine-month period dipped 15 percent while catalog/DM sales dropped 26 percent to $98.4 million. Internet sales totaled $59 million, a 13 percent decrease.


* The Talbots Inc., Hingham, MA, posted a 3 percent increase in sales for the four weeks ended Oct. 29 for a total of $147.3 million. Same-store sales decreased 0.3 percent. For the fiscal third quarter ended Oct. 29, sales totaled $426.3 million, a 3 percent gain. Same-store sales decreased 2 percent while DM sales increased 11 percent to $63.7 million. Year-to-date sales rose 8 percent to $1.32 billion. Same-store sales increased 3 percent while DM sales rose 11 percent to $192.9 million.


* The Neiman Marcus Group Inc., Dallas, generated a 6.2 percent increase in sales for the four weeks ended Oct. 29 for a total of $325 million. Comparable revenue rose 7 percent in the period. Also, comparable revenue in the company's direct division increased 11.7 percent.


For the fiscal first quarter ended Oct. 29, Neiman Marcus' revenue increased 7.5 percent to $976 million. Comparable revenue rose 8.4 percent. Revenue for the direct division reflected a 10.4 percent gain over last year.


* J.C. Penney Co. Inc., Plano, TX, said sales totaled $1.405 billion for the four weeks ended Oct. 29, a 1.7 percent gain over last year. Same-store sales rose 2.4 percent. Direct sales decreased 2.9 percent to $235 million. Internet sales increased over 20 percent while print catalog sales continued their lower trend.


For the 13 weeks ended Oct. 29, the company's sales totaled $4.48 billion, a 2.4 percent increase. Same-store sales rose 2.5 percent while direct sales decreased 0.9 percent to $684 million. For the 39 weeks ended Oct. 29, sales totaled $12.58 billion, a 3.7 percent increase. Same-store sales rose 3 percent while direct sales increased 3.5 percent to $1.933 billion.


* JoS. A. Bank Clothiers Inc., Hampstead, MD, reported a 28.5 percent increase in sales for its fiscal month ended Oct. 29 for a total of $37 million. Comparable-store sales rose 16.2 percent while combined catalog/Internet sales increased 19.5 percent. Third-quarter sales climbed 27.8 percent to $105.6 million. Comparable-store sales rose 14.1 percent while catalog/Internet sales increased 22.6 percent. Sales for the nine months ended Oct. 29 rose 23 percent to $300.8 million. Same-store sales increased 7.7 percent year-to-date while catalog/Internet sales rose 24.1 percent.


* Reporting results Wednesday was The Bombay Co. Inc., Fort Worth, TX, which said revenue declined 2.8 percent for the four weeks ended Oct. 29 to $41.7 million. Same-store sales increased 0.6 percent. Revenue from non-store activities was 5.1 percent of total revenue compared with 9.9 percent in the prior year.


For the quarter ended Oct. 29, revenue increased 1 percent to $127.9 million. Same-store sales increased 2.7 percent. Also, revenue from non-store activities was 4.8 percent of total revenue compared with 10.6 percent in the prior year.


Year-to-date, revenue increased 1.4 percent to $378.1 million. Same-store sales dipped 0.4 percent. Also, revenue from non-store activities was 5.1 percent of total revenue compared to 9.9 percent in the prior year.


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


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