August was yet another difficult month for Sharper Image Corp., as its sales continued to slide, though on a brighter note, the company’s catalog/direct marketing sales increased 5%. For the other publicly traded companies tracked by MULTICHANNEL MERCHANT, August was more memorable.
At upscale apparel and decor mailer Neiman Marcus Direct, which includes the Horchow and Neiman Marcus titles, August sales increased 19.3%. Dallas-based parent company Neiman Marcus Group boasted a 7.4% jump in year-over-year revenue, to $270 million for the four weeks ended Aug. 26.
Direct sales for Plano, TX-based J.C. Penney Co. increased slightly, 0.5%, for the four weeks ended Aug. 26. The increase was in line with the company’s initial guidance. Total direct sales for the month were $195 million. Internet sales rose approximately 16%, coupled with an increase of nearly 30% last year. Department store sales inched ahead, 0.7%, to $1.38 billion. Total company sales also increased 0.7%, to $1.58 billion. Comparable store sales decreased 0.5%.
Hampstead, MD-based men’s apparel cataloger/retailer Jos. A. Bank Clothiers registered a 17.4% increase in combined catalog and Internet sales for August. Total August sales climbed 4.6%, to $29.6 million.
At women’s apparel merchant Victoria’s Secret Direct, combined Internet and catalog sales for August rose 17%. Parent company Limited Brands reported an 11% increase in overall August sales, to $638.8 million. In addition to Victoria’s Secret, Limited Brands includes the Express and Bath & Body Work retail chains.
Year-over-year sales at San Francisco-based electronic gifts merchant Sharper Image fell 13%, to $32.5 million from $37.5 million the previous August. Catalog/direct marketing sales (including wholesale) increased 5%, to $8.5 million compared to $8.1 million a year ago; Internet sales decreased 10%, to $5.0 million from $5.6 million for the month ended Aug. 31.