Financial reports: J. Crew, Twinlab

‘Merchandising Mistakes’ Contribute to Falling J. Crew Sales

Apparel cataloger/retailer J. Crew reported that a challenging economy coupled with a weak retail market and “merchandising mistakes” caused sales and earnings to drop for the fourth quarter and the full year.

Revenue for the fourth quarter of fiscal 2001, ended Feb. 2, was $246.7 million, down 14% from $286.7 million the previous fourth quarter. Net sales from New York-based J. Crew’s catalog and online business fell 13%. Comparable store sales slid nearly 19%. All these factors conspired to slash net income 62%, to $6.7 million from $17.6 million a year earlier.

For the 52 weeks ended Feb. 2, total revenue was $778.0 million, down 6% from $826.0 million for the 53 weeks of fiscal 2000. J. Crew’s direct business took a 9% hit, while comparable store sales fell 16%.

Twinlab Losses Widen Hauppauge, NY–One-time charges due to restructuring and slower sales led to top-line and bottom-line declines at nutritional supplements manufacturer/marketer Twinlab Corp. (Nasdaq: TWLB). Twinlab’s properties include the Bronson Laboratories catalog.

Fourth-quarter net sales tumbled 25%, to $43.0 million from $57.6 million the previous year. What’s more, the fourth-quarter net loss widened 37%, to $66.8 million from $42.4 million. The net loss for the fourth quarter of 2001 includes noncash asset impairment charges of $33.8 million primarily relating to the write-down of goodwill and intangible assets of Bronson Laboratories and Health Factors International and a $27.5 million noncash charge relating to a write-down of deferred tax assets. The net loss for the fourth quarter of 2000 had included a $26.0 million noncash charge relating to a write-down of deferred tax assets.

For the year ended Dec. 31, 2001, net sales were $199.8 million, down 18% from $242.3 million in 2000. Hauppauge, NY-based Twinlab’s net loss ballooned 43%, to $91.6 million, compared with a net loss of $51.9 million the previous year. The net loss includes a noncash asset impairment charge of $33.8 million, a $22.8 million non-cashcharge related to a write-down of deferred tax assets, and a loss on the disposition of a discontinued operation of approximately $8.7 million.