The weather isn’t the only that’s warming up. As demonstrated by the publicly traded companies tracked by CATALOG AGE, many marketers are seeing business heat up too.
Hampstead, MD-based men’s apparel cataloger/retailer Jos. A. Bank Clothiers
(NasdaqNM: JOSB) posted a 23% rise in combined catalog and Internet sales in April. Total sales for the four-week period ended May 3 were $22.9 million, up 14% from $20.1 million for April 2002.
Dallas-based Neiman Marcus Group (NYSE: NMG.A), whose titles include Horchow and Chef’s Catalog, said sales increased 16% in its direct-to-customer segment for the four-week period ended May 3. The upscale cataloger/retailer said the women’s apparel and shoes, linens, and tabletop categories fueled the sales increase. Total company revenue for April increased 6%, to $240 million from $226 million last year.
High-tech gadgets cataloger/retailer Sharper Image (Nasdaq: SHRP) enjoyed a 17% increase in April sales, to $39.8 million from last year’s $34.1 million. The company says that its infomercial sales were affected by television coverage of the Iraq war, which in turn hurt catalog sales. Total catalog sales decreased 4%, to $11.6 million from the last April’s $12.1 million. But excluding infomercial revenue, catalog sales increased 20%. Internet sales increased 50%, to $6.2 million from $4.2 million. Total store sales increased 23%, to $22.0 million from $17.9 million; comparable store sales increased 11%.
New York-based online-only apparel discounter Bluefly (NadsaqSmallCap: BFLY) said April net sales increased 16%, to more than $2.6 million, from approximately $2.3 million last year.
And another New York-based apparel marketer, cataloger/retailer J. Crew, rode increased Web sales to top-line growth. Revenue for the four weeks ended May 3 was $57.7 million, up 5% from $54.8 million the previous April. Net sales for the direct division increased 11%, to $18.8 million from $17.0 million. But catalog sales fell 28%, to $5.5 million from $7.6 million. Comparable store sales decreased 4%.
At women’s lingerie marketer Victoria’s Secret Direct, which is owned by Columbus, OH-based Limited Brands, April sales were down 4% on reduced circulation. Internet sales continued to grow, however. Declines in bras and swimwear sales were partly offset by growth in panties. Total first-quarter sales at Victoria’s Secret Direct were $229.5 million, up 2% from last year. April sales at Hingham, MA-based The Talbots (NYSE: TLB) rose slightly, to $131.5 million for the four weeks ended May 3, compared with $130.1 million for April 2002. But comparable store sales decreased 7% for the month. Though it doesn’t release catalog sales figures for the month, the apparel cataloger/retailer did say that catalog sales for the first quarter fell 5%, to $65.8 million from $69.6 million last year.
At Plano, TX-based J.C. Penney Co. (NYSE: JCP), April catalog sales decreased 7%, to $175 million for the four weeks ended April 26. Internet sales, which are included in catalog revenue, increased more than 25% for both the month. Comparable department store sales decreased 7% from last April, when the company had enjoyed a 6% gain. Children’s apparel was the best-performing category, reflecting solid Easter apparel sales. Total April company sales fell 3%, to $2.40 billion from $2.46 billion last year.
Finally, Downers Grove, IL-based Spiegel Group, which mails the Eddie Bauer, Newport News, and Spiegel catalogs, reported that net sales fell 31%, to $115.6 million for the four weeks ended April 26. Last year, April sales totaled $167.0 million. The company also reported that comparable-store sales for its Eddie Bauer catalog/retail division dropped 16% for the four-week period.