Financial Reports: PC Mall, J. Jill, Design Within Reach, More

Increased Costs of Goods Hurts PC Mall
Torrance, CA-based PC Mall couldn’t take full advantage of its 24% increase in second-quarter net sales because its costs of goods rose 25%.

For the three months ended June 30, the computer reseller’s sales were $270.5 million, compared with $218.9 million last year. Cost of goods sold increased to $235.8 million from $188.2 million last year. As a result, net income fell 25%, to $707,000 from $947,000.

Breaking it down by segment, corporate sales for the quarter grew 42%, eCost.com’s sales grew 62%, PC Mall Gov sales grew 21%. Sales from the core business catalog fell 15%.

Multichannel Marketing Pays for J. Jill
Despite a weak June, Quincy, MA-based cataloger/retailer J. Jill Group posted increases in its top and bottom lines. Second-quarter sales increased 24%, to $120.6 million for the three months ended June 26. Net income increased 7%, to $6.5 million.

“June and July are typically clearance months, and our stores were negatively affected by our lack of clearance inventory,” president/CEO Gordon Cooke said in a statement. “Our June end-of-month inventory balances per store were down by more than 40% compared to the prior year, with clearance inventory per store down by nearly 60%. In August, as we transition to full-price fall merchandise, our inventory balances will rebound to normal levels.”

Breaking it down by channel: Catalog sales fell 8%, to $32.2 million, compared with $35.1 million. Web sales increased 21%, to $22.1 million. Retail sales increased 52%, to $65.1 million.

Sportsman’s Guide Gains on Web Sales
During the quarter ended June 30, South St. Paul, MN-based The Sportsman’s Guide set a company record for Web-related sales as a percentage of direct sales, which translated to net income gains. Internet sales at the outdoor gear marketer accounted for 43% of total direct sales.

Total sales increased slightly, to $38.9 million from $38.0 million a year ago. Net earnings increased 23%, to $797,000 from $646,000. Catalog circulation for the quarter was 9.9 million, up from 9.2 million for the comparable quarter of 2003.

Design Within Reach Posts Profit
Design Within Reach posted healthy gains in net sales and net earnings during its first quarter as a publicly traded company. The San Francisco-based modern-furniture cataloger/retailer closed its initial public offering on July 24.

For the three months ended June 26, Design With Reach posted net sales of $28.2 million, up 46% from $19.4 million a year ago. Net earnings were $806,000, compared with last year’s second-quarter loss of $1.2 million.

Direct sales rose 16%, to $12.8 million, due to new online marketing initiatives, including keyword purchases and affiliate programs.

Bluefly Cuts Its 2Q Loss
New York-based Bluefly, an online marketer of discounted designer apparel and home accessories, enjoyed a 27% rise in second-quarter sales, to $9.5 million from $7.5 million last year. Gross margins increased to 40% from 31%. That combination of revenue and gross margin growth generated a 64% increase in gross profits. That enabled Bluefly to slash its net loss 66%, to $708,000 from $2.1 million last year.

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