Another Dismal Quarter for Sharper Image

Fiscal problems continued to plague San Francisco-based cataloger/retailer Sharper Image during the quarter ended April 30. Total first-quarter revenue decreased 26%, to $106.8 million from $144.9 million forthe first quarter of 2005. And the company reported a net loss of $12.6 million, compared witha net loss of $4.6 million a year ago. Total store sales for the first quarter decreased 28%, to $56.8 million; comparable store sales decreased 29%.

Direct marketing sales decreased 16%, to $23.5 million from $27.9 million last year. Internet sales fell 26%, to $17.2 million from $23.2 million. Wholesale sales dropped 45%, to $6.5 million from last year’s $11.8 million.CEO Richard Thalheimer addressed the company’s fiscal concerns in a statement: “The first quarter’s operating results reflect a continuation of previously discussed trends, especially weaker revenues from our Ionic Breeze line of air purifiers, and massage chairs. We have given significant attention to improving our advertising return on investment, and we were pleased to see increased advertising productivity in the quarter. Although we’ve meaningfully reduced overhead and advertising expenses, we now must achieve an improvement in our revenue trends.”Thalheimer added: “Going forward, we need to build top-line sales growth with a significant amount of exciting new products, and we have begun this process in earnest. Our new product introductions have started flowing into the retail stores, catalog and online, and this season’s Father’s Day catalog showcases 45 new products. Some have excellent high-volume potential.”

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