First-quarter sales at Celebrate Express slipped 12%, to $17.6 million, from $19.9 million, for the period ended Aug. 31. The Kirkland, WA-based party supplies cataloger reported a net loss of $577,000. Last year’ the merchant posted a loss of $326,000 for the first quarter. On the bright side, revenue from the Costume Express brand increased 17% from the prior year.
In a release company officials cited lower sales–down 9% from last year’s first quarter–from the Birthday Express brand as part of the reason for the overall revenue decrease. Officials said the company mailed 17% fewer Birthday Express catalogs during the first quarter compared with the same period last year to focus on unprofitable mailings and new breakeven points “in light of catalog postage cost increases.”