Holiday Sales Good News for Most

So Christmas has come and gone. How does your company stack up compared with the consumer catalogers tracked by CATALOG AGE?

Dallas-based Neiman Marcus Direct, which mails the Horchow, Neiman Marcus, and Chef’s Catalog titles, reported a 27% jump in sales for the fiscal month ended Jan. 3 . Sales at parent company Neiman Marcus (NYSE: NMG.A), which includes the upscale Neiman Marcus and Bergdorf Goodman stores, increased 15%, to $544 million.

Other luxury retailers did well too. New York-based jeweler Tiffany & Co. (NYSE: TIF) enjoyed an 18% hike in holiday sales, to $601.1 million. Combined Web and catalog sales climbed 27%. Business sales declined 13%, reflecting the company’s previously announced decision to exit the market for employee service award programs. U.S. retail sales increased 19%, to $306.2 million.

San Francisco-based home decor and kitchenware cataloger/retailer Williams-Sonoma (NYSE: WSM), whose brands include Pottery Barn, PBTeen, Hold Everything, and West Elm, reported that direct-to-customer net sales climbed 29% for the eight weeks ended Dec. 28. Net revenue rose 17%.

Philadelphia-based Urban Outfitters (Nasdaq: URBN) reported that direct-to-consumer sales leaped 122 % from Nov. 1 to Dec. 31 due to what the company calls “strong growth at Anthropologie Direct and exceptional growth at Urban Outfitters Direct.”

Another San Francisco-based cataloger/retailer, high-tech gadgets marketer Sharper Image Corp. (NasdaqNM: SHRP), saw holiday catalog sales rise 20% while Internet sales skyrocketed 36%. Total company sales for December increased 30%.

Hampstead, MD-based men’s apparel cataloger/retailer Jos. A. Bank Clothiers (NasdaqNM: JOSB) said total December sales increased 33%, with combined catalog and Internet sales up 11%.

Fort Myers, FL-based women’s apparel cataloger/retailer Chico’s FAS (NYSE: CHS) said sales for fiscal December increased 61%, to $91 million from $56.5 million last year. But in a sales call, Chico’s said that its sales from its call center—which includes its Web and catalog businesses–fell 11%, to just under $2.1 million, due to what the company refers to as unusual demand last year for the “Oprah watch” that had been featured on Oprah Winfrey’s television show.

Plano, TX-based J.C. Penney Co.(NYSE: JCP) posted a 4% rise in comparable department store sales for the five weeks ended Dec. 27, the third consecutive year in which December sales increased more than 4%. The company also posted a nearly 6% gain in catalog/Internet sales.

Columbus, OH-based Limited Brands (NYSE: LTD), which mails the Victoria’s Secret catalog, posted a comparable-store sales increase of 6% for the five weeks ended Jan. 3. Sales at Victoria’s Secret Direct rose 10%.

Corte Madera, CA-based Restoration Hardware (Nasdaq: RSTO) saw net sales in its direct-to-consumer division jump 40% due to what president/CEO Gary Friedman termed strong customer demand and improved catalog response rates. The home furnishings company was disappointed in its same-store sales, however, which dropped 4%.

Some marketers got the financial equivalent of coal in their stockings. For instance, Hingham, MA-based cataloger/retailer The Talbots (NYSE: TLB) reported that total company sales for the five weeks ended Jan. 3 fell 1%, to $200.1 million. Although the apparel marketer did not break out monthly catalog sales data it did mention in a sales call that low inventory levels significantly affected its catalog business.

Then there’s the continuing saga of Downers Grove, IL-based Spiegel Group, which mails the Eddie Bauer, Newport News, and Spiegel catalogs. Its December sales plummeted 33%, to $249.2 million for the five weeks ended Dec. 28. Comparable-store sales for its Eddie Bauer division fell 3%. Spiegel’s catalog and Web sales plunged 42% due to what the company described as lower customer demand and a planned reduction in catalog circulation.

Partner Content

Hincapie Sportswear Finds Omnichannel Success in the Cloud - Netsuite
For more and more companies, a cloud-based unified data solution is the way to make this happen. Custom cycling apparel maker Hincapie Sportswear has leveraged this capability to gain greater visibility into revenue streams, turning opportunities into sales more quickly while gaining overall operating efficiency. Download this ecommerce special report from Multichannel Merchant to more.
The Gift of Wow: Preparing your store for the holiday season - Netsuite
Being prepared for the holiday rush used to mean stocking shelves and making sure your associates were ready for the long hours. But the digital revolution has changed everything, most importantly, customer expectations. Retailers with a physical store presence should be asking themselves—what am I doing to wow the customer?
3 Critical Components to Achieving the Perfect Order - NetSuite
Explore the 3 critical components to delivering the perfect order.
Streamlining Unified Commerce Complexity - NetSuite
Explore how consolidating multiple systems through a cloud-based commerce platform provides a seamless experience for both you, and your customer.