July Sales Roundup

Despite the down economy, some of the companies tracked by Multichannel Merchant reported solid numbers for the month of July.

July sales at Victoria’s Secret Direct were up 10%, which exceeded company expectations. Company officials attributed the healthy rise to increased promotional offers. But for parent company Limited Brands, which also owns the Express retail chain and cataloger/retailer Bath & Body Works, total sales for the month slipped 6.7%, to $601.3 million, compared to net sales of $644.5 million for July 2007.

Meanwhile, apparel retailer Abercrombie & Fitch’s total July sales increased 2%, to $303.1 million. What’s more, direct-to-consumer sales rose 14%, to $18.3 million. But, July same-store sales decreased 7%.

July sales at Neiman Marcus Direct fell 0.6%. The division consists of the print catalog and online operations for Neiman Marcus and Horchow, as well as the Bergdorf Goodman Website.

J.C. Penney Co. no longer reports its direct sales for the month, but the general merchant saw same-store sales slip 6.5%. Total sales in July sank 5%, to $1.34 billion, down from $1.41 billion for July 2007.

Partner Content

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.
Build the Foundation for Great Customer Experiences - NetSuite
Understand how consistent, timely, relevant and personalized experiences are enabled by having the right technology foundation in place.
Strategies for Maximizing Mobile Point-of-Sale Technology - NetSuite
Learn the top five innovative ways to utilize your mobile POS technology to drive customer engagement, increase sales and elevate your brand.

July Sales Roundup

For the most part, July was a kind month to the publicly traded companies tracked by MULTICHANNEL MERCHANT. So let’s begin with some positive results.

July direct sales for J.C. Penney Co. halted a recent downward trend. After declines of 1%, 8%, 5.1%, and 10.9% in March, April, May, and June, respectively, the general merchant’s July sales rose 11.5%, to $203 million, exceeding expectations of low single-digit growth. Company officials said July sales benefited from a calendar shift, which moved the first week of August and its back-to-school sales into the July reporting period. What’s more, Penney’s July Internet sales soared 28.4%. Total July department store sales rose 13.6%, to $1.20 billion.

Meanwhile, Dallas-based luxury merchant Neiman Marcus Group reported an 18.8% rise in July sales for Neiman Marcus Direct, which consists of the print catalog and online operations for Neiman Marcus and Horchow as well as the Bergdorf Goodman Website. Total July revenue for the cataloger/retailer increased 10.7%, to $269 million.

July was a bit of a mixed bag for Hampstead, MD-based Jos. A. Bank Clothiers. The merchant’s sales for the month increased 3.2%, to $35.8 million, up from $34.7 million in July 2006. The menswear cataloger/retailer posted a nearly 9% rise in July direct sales, while same-store sales decreased 6.4%.

On the not-so-good news front, July sales at Victoria’s Secret Direct were flat compared to last year. Columbus, OH-based parent company Limited Brands reported a 3% decrease in overall July sales, to $644.5 million, down from $656.6 million in July 2006. Amy Preston, vice president of investor relations, attributed the decrease in overall sales to reduced mall and store traffic.

And the tough times continued for San Francisco-based Sharper Image Corp. July sales at the electronic gifts merchant plunged 29%, to $24.7 million, compared to $34.8 million in July 2006. Catalog/direct marketing sales (including wholesale) plummeted 59%, to $3.5 million from $8.5 million last year. Internet sales sunk 33%, to $3.0 million, and same-store sales decreased 15%.

Partner Content

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.
Build the Foundation for Great Customer Experiences - NetSuite
Understand how consistent, timely, relevant and personalized experiences are enabled by having the right technology foundation in place.
Strategies for Maximizing Mobile Point-of-Sale Technology - NetSuite
Learn the top five innovative ways to utilize your mobile POS technology to drive customer engagement, increase sales and elevate your brand.

July Sales Roundup

It may have been a hot outside, but July proved rather chilly, fiscally speaking, for Sharper Image Corp., as its sales continued to slide. For the other publicly traded companies tracked by MULTICHANNEL MERCHANT, however, July was much kinder.

At upscale apparel and decor mailer Neiman Marcus Direct, which includes the Horchow and Neiman Marcus titles, July sales increased 11.5%. Dallas-based parent company Neiman Marcus Group boasted a 10% jump in year-over-year revenue, to $249 million for the month ended July 29.

At $182 million, direct sales for Plano, TX-based J.C. Penney Co. were flat for the month ended July 29. Internet sales rose 21%, however, on top of last July’s 30% increase. Department store sales rose 5.5%, to $1.05 billion. Total company sales increased nearly 5%, to $1.24 billion.

Hampstead, MD-based men’s apparel cataloger/retailer Jos. A. Bank Clothiers registered a whopping 34% increase in combined catalog and Internet sales for July. Total July sales climbed 28%, to $34.7 million for the month ended July 29.

July sales at women’s apparel mailer Victoria’s Secret Direct rose 23%, exceeding company expectations. Internet sales continue to exceed expectations as well. Parent company Limited Brands reported a 10% increase in overall July sales, to $656.6 million for the four-week period ended July 29. In addition to Victoria’s Secret, Limited Brands includes the Express and Bath & Body Work retail chains.

Year-over-year sales at San Francisco-based electronic gifts merchant Sharper Image slipped 17%, to $34.8 million from $42 million the previous July. Catalog/direct marketing sales (including wholesale) fell 4%, to $8.5 million from $8.9 million a year ago; Internet sales decreased 17%, to $4.5 million from $5.5 million.

Partner Content

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.
Build the Foundation for Great Customer Experiences - NetSuite
Understand how consistent, timely, relevant and personalized experiences are enabled by having the right technology foundation in place.
Strategies for Maximizing Mobile Point-of-Sale Technology - NetSuite
Learn the top five innovative ways to utilize your mobile POS technology to drive customer engagement, increase sales and elevate your brand.

July Sales Roundup

For most of the cataloger/retailers tracked by MULTICHANNEL MERCHANT, July direct sales growth outpaced store growth.

For example, combined catalog/Internet sales at Plano, TX-based general merchant J.C. Penney Co. (NYSE: JCP) increased 4%, to $182 million for the four weeks ended July 30. Web sales soared 30% for the month. Total Penney sales for the month increased a more modest 3%, to $1.18 billion.

Combined catalog and Internet sales at Hampstead, MD-based men’s apparel merchant Jos. A. Bank Clothiers (NasdaqNM: JOSB) increased 22%. In contrast, comparable store sales inched up les than 1%. Total sales for July were $27.1 million, up 15% from July 2004.

Similarly, July sales at Dallas-based Neiman Marcus Direct, which includes the Horchow catalogs, increased 21%. Total July sales for parent company Neiman Marcus Group (NYSE: NMG.A) increased 7%, to $232 million for the four weeks ended July 31.

Computer reseller CDW Corp. (Nasdaq: CDWC) saw July sales rise 5%, to $500.6 million, despite their being one less billing day this year. Average daily sales rose 10%, to $25.0 million.

July sales at Hingham, MA-based apparel merchant The Talbots (NYSE: TLB) increased 20%, to $114.7 million from $95.7 million last year. Talbots does not break out monthly catalog sales data.

Bluefly (Nasdaq SmallCap: BFLY), an online-only merchant of discount designer apparel and home decor, posted a 23% bump in July revenue, to $3.1 million.

But direct marketing sales at San Francisco-based gadgets Sharper Image (NasdaqNM: SHRP) continued to slide. July direct marketing sales (which includes wholesale revenue) fell 25%, to $8.9 million. Internet sales tumbled 12%, to $5.5 million. Total store sales rose 10%, to $27.6 million, but comparable store sales fell 2%. All told, Sharper Image’s July revenue was down 3%, to $42.0 million

Partner Content

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.
Build the Foundation for Great Customer Experiences - NetSuite
Understand how consistent, timely, relevant and personalized experiences are enabled by having the right technology foundation in place.
Strategies for Maximizing Mobile Point-of-Sale Technology - NetSuite
Learn the top five innovative ways to utilize your mobile POS technology to drive customer engagement, increase sales and elevate your brand.

July Sales Roundup

Like the temperature, sales for the publicly traded cataloger/retailers tracked by CATALOG AGE rose in July. In fact, sales growth at the direct units at many of these companies outpaced that of their retail divisions.

July sales at the Plano, TX-based catalog/Internet division of J.C. Penney Co. (NYSE: JCP), for instance, rose 11%, to $177 million from $160 million last year. Total company sales increased 3%, to $2.2 billion from $2.1 billion.

At Dallas-based Neiman Marcus Direct, which mails the Horchow, Neiman Marcus, and Chef’s Catalog titles, sales for the fiscal month ended Aug. 2 were 16% higher than for July 2002. July revenue for parent company Neiman Marcus (NYSE: NMG.A) increased 13%, to $188 million from $166 million last year.

Direct-to-consumer sales at Philadelphia-based Urban Outfitters (Nasdaq: URBN), which includes cataloger/retailer Anthropologie, increased 37%, to $9.2 million for the month ended July 31, compared with $6.7 million the previous July. The apparel and home accessories marketer launched an Urban Outfitters print catalog earlier this year.

At San Francisco-based cataloger/retailer Sharper Image (Nasdaq: SHRP) July’s combined wholesale/catalog/Internet sales increased a scant 1%, to $9.9 million. But catalog sales alone increased 23% , while Internet sales increased 60%. Total Sharper Image sales for July increased 20% ,to $37.6 million from last year’s $31.2 million. Total store sales increased 23%, to $22.1 million.

The catalog/Internet unit at Jos. A. Bank Clothiers (NasdaqNM: JOSB) posted a 25% growth in July sales. Not too shabby—except that it trailed behind the company’s overall sales increase of 32%, to $17.5 million for the month ended Aug. 2. Comparable store sales increased 19%.

Apparel cataloger/retailer The Talbots (NYSE: TLB) announced that catalog sales for the quarter ended Aug. 2 were $50.2 million, up 6% from the comparable quarter of last year. Talbots does not release monthly catalog sales data. Total second-quarter sales for the Hingham, MA-based company also increased 6%, to $100.5 million from $94.5 million last year.

Bucking the sales growth trend once more is Downers Grove, IL-based The Spiegel Group, which mails the Newport News, Spiegel, and Eddie Bauer catalogs. Its July net sales fell 29% , to $99.2 million for the four weeks ended July 26, compared with $139.1 million last year.

Partner Content

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.
Build the Foundation for Great Customer Experiences - NetSuite
Understand how consistent, timely, relevant and personalized experiences are enabled by having the right technology foundation in place.
Strategies for Maximizing Mobile Point-of-Sale Technology - NetSuite
Learn the top five innovative ways to utilize your mobile POS technology to drive customer engagement, increase sales and elevate your brand.

July Sales Roundup

July catalog sales for the publicly traded cataloger/retailers tracked by CATALOG AGE melted away like a toddler’s ice cream cone in the summer heat.

Downers Grove, IL-based Spiegel Group, which mails the Eddie Bauer, Newport News, and Spiegel catalogs, reported a 13% decline in total July sales, to $139.1 million for the four weeks ended July 27 from $160.0 million last July. Total direct sales declined 19%, and the group’s retail store sales decreased 6%. Web sales inched up 1% for the month.

By division, July sales fell 2% at Eddie Bauer, 15% at Newport News, and 33% at Spiegel catalog. The company said in a statement that the Spiegel catalog and Newport News “continue to be restrained by more-stringent credit-granting measures taken in the company’s private-label credit-card business. While these measures are negatively impacting sales near-term, they are an integral part of strategies aimed at attracting and retaining higher-quality credit customers and building stronger long-term customer relationships.” Plano, TX-based cataloger/retailer J.C. Penney (NYSE: JCP) continues to struggle as well. Catalog sales decreased 23%, to $160 million from $209 million, due to continued weak demand as well as circulation cuts. Total July Penney sales fell O.6%, to $2.1 billion from $2.2 billion last year, due to low levels of inventory resulting from stronger-than-planned sales during the first quarter.

Dallas-based Neiman Marcus Group (NYSE: NMG.A) was not without its challenges. Sales at the Neiman Marcus Direct unit, which includes the Horchow and Chef’s Catalog titles, declined 2% in July. Total company revenue fell 3%, to $165 million from $170 million last year.

Even the usually reliable apparel cataloger/retailer The Talbots (NYSE: TLB) reported lackluster results. Company sales decreased 11%, to $94.5 million from $106.6 million for July 2001. For the quarter, the Hingham, MA-based cataloger/retailer said catalog sales decreased 5% to $47.4 million from $49.8 million, due to a planned lower circulation. Talbots did not break out monthly catalog sales. Comparable store sales decreased 19.0% for the month due to significantly lower levels of markdown inventory.

The quarter was not without its success stories. San Francisco-based high-tech gadgets marketer Sharper Image (Nasdaq: SHRP) said catalog sales increased a whopping 67%, to $9.8 million from last July’s $5.9 million. The catalog division’s wholesale business performed well, and tests of several new proprietary products contributed to the sales increase as well. What’s more, the sale increases came without significant promotions at improved gross margins.

Sharper Image’s Web sales, including auction sales, increased 25%, to $3.5 million from last July’s $2.8 million. Total company sales for the month increased 35%, to $31.2 million from last July’s $23.2 million. Total store sales increased 23% to $17.9 million from $14.6 million; comparable store sales increased 9%.

Finally, newly reunited Columbus, OH-based Limited Brands (NYSE: LTD) reported that Victoria’s Secret Direct, the catalog and Internet division of the apparel/lingerie brand increased 9%, to $249.2 million from $229.1 million last July. Limited also owns a number of retail chains, including Victoria’s Secret, Bath & Body Works, Express, Express, and White Barn Candle Co. The company’s total net sales for the month were $582.9 million, up 6% from a year ago.

Partner Content

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.
Build the Foundation for Great Customer Experiences - NetSuite
Understand how consistent, timely, relevant and personalized experiences are enabled by having the right technology foundation in place.
Strategies for Maximizing Mobile Point-of-Sale Technology - NetSuite
Learn the top five innovative ways to utilize your mobile POS technology to drive customer engagement, increase sales and elevate your brand.