Spiegel October Sales Dip 25%

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The Spiegel Group, Downers Grove, IL, reported net sales yesterday of $129.5 million for the four weeks ended Oct. 25, down 25 percent from $171.9 million in the four weeks ended Oct. 26, 2002.


Also, during the 43 weeks ended Oct. 25, net sales plummeted 23 percent to $1.32 billion from $1.72 billion in the same period last year.


Comparable-store sales for the company's Eddie Bauer division fell 6 percent for the four weeks and the 43 weeks ended Oct. 25.


"Unseasonably warm weather adversely impacted Eddie Bauer's retail sales in October when Eddie Bauer experienced a drop in store traffic and lower demand for winter apparel," the company said.


The Group's net sales from retail and outlet stores fell 18 percent for the month versus October 2002, "reflecting the negative impact of store closings and the decline in Eddie Bauer's comparable-store sales."


The company reduced its store base 18 percent, operating 468 stores at the end of October 2003 compared with 572 at the end of October 2002. The company said that most of the closings resulted from actions taken under the company's ongoing reorganization.


Direct net sales -- catalog and e-commerce -- for the Group plunged 31 percent for the month compared with last year, mainly due to lower customer demand and a planned reduction in catalog circulation.


Other companies reporting results included:


· Federated Department Stores Inc., Cincinnati, posted total sales of $1.06 billion for the four weeks ended Nov. 1, down 2.1 percent from $1.08 billion in the same period last year. On a same-store basis, Federated's October sales fell 2 percent. The company reported third quarter total sales of $3.49 billion, up 0.2 percent from $3.48 billion in the third quarter last year. On a same-store basis, Federated's third-quarter sales rose 0.3 percent. For the year to date, sales totaled $10.21 billion, down 2 percent from $10.42 billion in the first 39 weeks of 2002. On a same-store basis, year-to-date sales fell 2 percent.


· J.C. Penney Co. Inc., Plano, TX, reported total company sales of $2.51 billion in the four weeks ended Oct. 25, during which time Catalog/Internet sales were $238 million. The comparable numbers for the four weeks ended Oct. 26, 2002, were $2.53 billion and $237 million.


· Limited Brands, Columbus, OH, posted a comparable-store sales drop of 2 percent in the four weeks ended Nov. 1 versus the four weeks ended Nov. 2, 2002. Net sales totaled $556.6 million compared with $547.3 million last year.


· Neiman Marcus Group Inc., Dallas, reported total revenue of $272 million in the four weeks ended Nov. 1, up from $246 million in the comparable period ended Nov. 2, 2002. The total for the recently concluded 13-week period was $825 million versus $734 million last year. Comparable revenue at Neiman Marcus Direct in the four-week October period rose 15 percent.


· Sharper Image Corp., San Francisco, said that in October total company sales rose 35 percent to $50.5 million from $37.4 million last year. Total store sales increased 28 percent to $25.6 million from $20 million in the prior October. Comparable-store sales climbed 12 percent. Total catalog sales skyrocketed 47 percent to $17.8 million. Internet sales soared 34 percent to $7 million. In the three months ended Oct. 31, total company sales increased 24 percent to $127.8 million. Total store sales rose 24 percent to $70.7 million from $57.2 million. Comparable-store sales increased 10 percent. Total catalog sales climbed 20 percent to $39.8 million from $33.3 million last year. Internet sales increased 36 percent to $17.4 million from last year's $12.8 million.


· The Talbots Inc., Hingham, MA, said total company sales for the four weeks ended Nov. 1 rose 2 percent to $137.9 million from $135.2 million for the four weeks ended Nov. 2, 2002. Comparable-store sales fell 8.4 percent in the month. In the 13 weeks ended Nov. 1, total company sales increased 2 percent to $408.2 million from $401.8 million last year. Retail store sales were up 2 percent to $345 million from $339.7 million. Comparable-store sales dropped 4.5 percent in the quarter. Catalog sales climbed 2 percent to $63.2 million from $62.1 million.


· JoS. A. Bank Clothiers Inc., Hampstead, MD, said total sales for the fiscal month ended Nov. 1 increased 22.2 percent to a record $27 million from $22.1 million a year ago. Comparable-store sales rose 4.6 percent as combined catalog and Internet sales soared 27.1 percent. Total net sales for the quarter ended Nov. 1 increased 24.4 percent to $72 million from $57.9 million in the same period in 2002. Comparable-store sales rose 8.7 percent as combined catalog and Internet sales climbed 25.6 percent.


· Urban Outfitters Inc., Philadelphia, reported net sales of $142.33 million in the three months ended Oct. 31, including $12.69 million in direct-to-consumer sales. Comparable numbers for that period last year were $110.11 million and $8.58 million.


· Nordstrom Inc., Seattle, posted preliminary sales of $454.4 million in the four weeks ending Nov. 1, up 6.7 percent from $425.8 million in the four weeks ended Nov. 2, 2002. Same-store sales rose 3.5 percent. Preliminary third-quarter sales of $1.42 billion increased 9.8 percent versus third-quarter 2002 sales of $1.29 billion. Third-quarter same-store sales increased 5 percent.


· Casual Male Retail Group Inc., Canton, MA, said total sales for its third quarter of fiscal 2004 reached $114.1 million compared with $125.2 million in the corresponding prior-year period. Its Casual Male Big & Tall business had sales of $73.1 million versus $74.7 million in the corresponding period last year. Comparable-store sales for the Casual Male Big & Tall business, which includes sales from Casual Male's continuing e-commerce and catalog sources, fell 1.1 percent in third-quarter fiscal 2004.


· Restoration Hardware Inc., Corte Madera, CA, said sales for the quarter ended Nov. 1 reached $95.8 million, up 6 percent from $90.8 million in last year's third quarter. Net sales for the direct-to-customer division, which includes catalog and Internet, rose 46 percent, following a 66 percent jump last year. Comparable-store sales increased 3 percent on top of a 15 percent rise in last year's third quarter. President/CEO Gary Friedman said in a statement, "Sales from the initial mailing of our holiday catalogs are exceeding our expectations."


· Chico's FAS Inc., Fort Myers, FL, said sales for the four weeks ended Nov. 1 ballooned 57.6 percent to $68.2 million from $43.3 million in the four weeks ended Nov. 2, 2002. Comparable-store sales for the company-owned stores increased 20.6 percent in the four-week period versus last year. Total sales for the quarter ended Nov. 1 rose 53.4 percent to $210.6 million from $137.3 million in the same period a year ago. Comparable-store sales for the company-owned stores climbed 20.9 percent for the 13-week period.


· The Bombay Company Inc., Fort Worth, TX, said Oct. 5 that same-store sales for stores open more than a year rose 5 percent in the four weeks ended Nov. 1, as total revenue increased 12 percent to $44.4 million from $39.7 million for the four weeks ended Nov. 2, 2002. Same-store sales increased 13 percent in the quarter ended Nov. 1 while total revenue rose 19 percent to $135.4 million from $113.8 million.


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