January Sales Roundup 2009

If the first month of the new year is any indication, retailers are in for another rough ride in 2009. For the most part, January sales figures for the companies tracked by Multichannel Merchant show a continuation of poor results from last year.

First off, total January sales for apparel retailer Abercrombie & Fitch sank 13%, to $191.5 million, compared to $219.7 million in January 2008. On the bright side, direct-to-consumer sales increased 7%, to $26.0 million. Same-store sales for January fell 20%.

J.C. Penney Co. no longer reports its direct sales results for the month, but the general merchant saw total company sales slip 15.5%, to $983 million, compared with $1.16 billion in January 2008.

January sales for luxury marketer Neiman Marcus Direct decreased 18.3%. The division consists of the print catalog and online operations for Neiman Marcus and Horchow, as well as the Bergdorf Goodman Website.
Chairman/CEO Burton M. Tansky said in a release that Neiman Marcus wasmuch more promotional than in prior years. “We currently anticipate a significant decrease in our gross margins and a deleveraging of expenses caused by the decline in revenues. As a result, we currently expect to report a net loss for the company for the second quarter.”

On a positive note, January sales at women’s apparel marketer Victoria’s Secret Direct rose 12%.

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