Most of the publicly traded catalogers tracked by CATALOG AGE kicked off 2004 with strong January sales.
At Corte Madera, CA-based Restoration Hardware (Nasdaq: RSTO), for instance, January catalog and Internet sales skyrocketed 88%. Comparable-store sales increased 23%. For the fiscal fourth quarter, ended Jan. 31, direct sales were $27 million, up 50% from $18 million the previous fourth quarter. Total fourth-quarter sales rose 6%, while comparable-store sales rose 0.7%.
San Francisco-based cataloger/retailer Sharper Image Corp. (Nasdaq: SHRP) reported a 40% jump in total January sales, to $47.3 million. Catalog sales rose 33%, to $12.9 million; Web sales shot up 51%, to $9.1 million. Comp-store sales grew 21%. For the fourth quarter, total sales for the marketer of high-tech gadgets increased 29%, to $270.2 million. Catalog sales rose 14%, to $54.9 million, while Web sales increased 34%, to $43.6 million.
January direct sales at Dallas-based Neiman Marcus Group (NYSE: NMG.A), which mails the Chef’s Catalog, Horchow, Neiman Marcus titles, rose 21%. Total revenue at the upscale apparel and home décor cataloger/retailer increased 15%, to $216 million from $187 million last year.
Discounting the extra week in its fiscal January this year, catalog/Internet sales at Plano, TX-based general merchandiser J.C. Penney Co. (NYSE:JCP) rose 10%, to $214 million, exceeding expectations. Internet sales skyrocketed roughly 50%. Comp-store sales (excluding those of Penney’s Eckerd drugstore chain, which the company is hoping to sell) increased 6%. Total fourth-quarter sales rose 2% (excluding the extra week) or 7% (including the extra week).
Hampstead, MD-based cataloger/retailer Jos. A. Bank Clothiers (NasdaqNM: JOSB) benefited from the unseasonably cold weather in much of the country. Total January sales for men’s apparel marketer were up 36% from last year, to a record $21.0 million. Combined catalog and Internet sales increased 28%, while comp-store sales increased 16%. Sales for the fiscal fourth quarter set another record: $100.9 million, up 30% from the previous fourth quarter. Direct sales rose 16%, while comp-store sales increased 11%.
Columbus, OH-based Limited Brands (NYSE: LTD) which includes the Express retail chain and cataloger/retailer Victoria’s Secret, reported a comparable-store sales increase of 23% for January.Sales at Victoria’s Secret Direct increased 5% for the month.
The news wasn’t so good for Hingham, MA-based The Talbots (NYSE:TLB). January sales for the apparel cataloger/retailer fell 5%. Comparable-store sales decreased 12%. Talbots does not break out monthly direct sales data.
And at Downers Grove, IL-based general merchandiser The Spiegel Group, January net sales were down 27%. Catalog and Web sales for the parent company of Eddie Bauer and Newport News fell 28%. Comparable-store sales at Eddie Bauer fell 7%.