November Sales Roundup

Dec 01, 2006 3:09 AM  By

With Christmas just around the corner, most of the six publicly traded companies tracked by MULTICHANNEL MERCHANT performed well in November. But more bad news shadowed Sharper Image Corp., while sales at Neiman Marcus Direct took a step back.

Hampstead, MD-based men’s apparel cataloger/retailer Jos. A. Bank Clothiers posted a robust 24% increase in combined catalog and Internet sales for November. Total November sales soared 21%, to $50.6 million from $41.9 million last year. Comparable-store sales checked in with a nearly 10% increase.

At Victoria’s Secret Direct, combined Internet and catalog sales for November rose 15%, exceeding company expectations. Columbus, OH-based parent company Limited Brands reported a 15% increase in overall November sales, to $937.7 million from $817.7 million last year. Comparable-store sales increased 12%. In addition to women’s apparel cataloger/retailer Victoria’s Secret, Limited Brands includes the Express and Bath & Body Work retail chains.

November sales at New Albany, OH-based apparel retailer Abercrombie & Fitch rose 13%, to $282.9 million for the period ended Nov. 25, compared with $251.2 million for the same month last year. Comparable-store sales for the month decreased 5%, but Web sales increased 45%, to $18.4 million.

November direct sales for Plano, TX-based J.C. Penney Co. dipped 0.3%, which was below the company’s initial guidance of a single-digit increase following a 2.5% increase last year. Total direct sales for the four weeks ended Nov. 25 were $290 million. Internet sales, however, rose 17.5%, on top of last year’s 23% rise. Department store sales increased 3%, to $1.61 billion, with comparable-store sales up 1.4%. Total company sales climbed nearly 3%%, to $1.90 billion.

At Neiman Marcus Direct, which includes the upscale Horchow and Neiman Marcus catalogs, November sales decreased 2.4%. Dallas-based parent company Neiman Marcus Group nonetheless boasted a 5% jump in total November revenue, to $332 million for the four weeks ended Nov. 25.

November sales at San Francisco-based electronic gifts merchant Sharper Image sunk 27%, to $46.8 million from $64.5 million last year. For the month ended Nov. 30, catalog/direct marketing sales (including wholesale) were $8.3 million, down 32% from $12.3 million the previous November. Internet sales took a hit as well, falling 29%, to $8.5 million. No good news could be salvaged for the month, as comparable-store sales tumbled 27%.