May Sales Roundup

May showed little signs of an economic recovery, at least for the retailers tracked by Multichannel Merchant.

Total May sales for apparel retailer Abercrombie & Fitch sank 22%, to $182.1 million, compared to $202.4 million in May 2008. Direct-to-consumer sales decreased 10%, to $15.6 million. Same-store sales decreased 25%.

Neiman Marcus Direct’s sales for May fell 1.3%. The division consists of the print catalog and online operations for Neiman Marcus and Horchow, as well as the Bergdorf Goodman Website. Direct was a relative bright spot for the luxury marketer: Its total revenue for May was down 21.5%

May sales at women’s apparel marketer Victoria’s Secret Direct dropped 11%, “reflecting overall demand softness and driven by declines in most merchandise categories, particularly clothing,” said Amie Preston, vice president of investor relations for parent company Limited Brands, during a conference call.

J.C. Penney Co. was one of the lucky ones in that its sales shortfall was in the single digits. The general merchant no longer reports its direct sales results for the month, but its total company sales for May were down 6.7%, to $1.25 billion, compared to $1.34 billion in May 2008.

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May sales roundup

May was not a kind month to most of the publicly traded companies tracked by MULTICHANNEL MERCHANT. But let’s start off on a high note.

For instance, May sales at Victoria’s Secret Direct jumped 21%. Columbus, OH-based parent company Limited Brands reported a 2% increase in overall May sales, to $774.7 million, up from $719.4 million.

Meanwhile, Dallas-based luxury merchant Neiman Marcus Group reported a slim 0.2% rise in May 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. That’s significantly less than the nearly 12% increase in year-over-year sales the division enjoyed in May last year. Total May revenue for the cataloger/retailer rose 9.2%, to $307 million.

But, May direct sales for J.C. Penney Co. followed a recent downward trend. After a 1% decline in March, followed by an 8% dip in April, May direct sales fell 5.1%, to $186 million from $196 million in 2006. On a positive note, Penney’s May Internet sales rose about 15%. May department-store sales for stores open at least one year slipped 2%. Total May department store sales inched up 0.3%, to $1.19 billion.

What more can be said about the disastrous fiscal situation that has enveloped San Francisco-based Sharper Image Corp. Just check out this (not-so) superfecta: May sales at the electronic gifts merchant fell 27%, to $24.1 million. Catalog/direct marketing sales (including wholesale) plummeted 61%, to $3.2 million from $9.2 million last year. Internet sales declined 38%, to $3.2 million, and same-store sales decreased 8%.

But it wasn’t all gloomy news. May sales for Hampstead, MD-based Jos. A. Bank Clothiers rose 23%, to $45.3 million, up from $36.7 million in May 2006. What’s more, the menswear cataloger/retailer posted a solid 16.3 rise in May direct sales, while same-store sales rose 13.5%. So, we started and ended on high notes.

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The Gift of Wow: Preparing your store for the holiday season - Netsuite
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May Sales Roundup

The Sharper Image Corp. continued its sales slide for May, but the month was a bit brighter for the other publicly traded companies tracked by MULTICHANNEL MERCHANT.

At upscale apparel and decor mailer Neiman Marcus Direct, which includes the Horchow and Neiman Marcus titles, May sales increased nearly 12%. Dallas-based parent company Neiman Marcus Group enjoyed a nearly 8% boost in year-over-year revenue, to $291 million for the four weeks ended May 27.

The direct division of Plano, TX-based J.C. Penney Co. posted a 1.6% increase in direct sales, to $196 million for the four weeks ended May 27. Internet sales increased approximately 25%. Penney’s department store sales were up 11.2%, to $1.18 billion. Total company sales increased 9.8%, to $1.38 billion.

Hampstead, MD-based men’s apparel cataloger/retailer Jos. A. Bank Clothiers registered a 3.1% increase in May combined catalog and Internet sales. Total May sales climbed 16.5%, to $36.7 million for the four weeks ended May 27.

Year-over-year sales at San Francisco-based Sharper Image fell 27%, to $33.4 million for the month ended May 31. Catalog/direct marketing sales (including wholesale) slipped 9%, to $9.2 million from $10.1 million the previous May; Internet sales decreased 19%, to $5 million from $6.2 million.

“Sales for the month of May reflect a continuation of our recent sales trends,” CEO Richard Thalheimer said in a statement. “Our principal strategy for addressing this is to accelerate the flow of new products, and that has begun in earnest.” Specifically, Thalheimer said, Sharper Image’s Father’s Day catalog includes 45 new products that are also available in stores and on the Website.

Partner Content

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.
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Explore how consolidating multiple systems through a cloud-based commerce platform provides a seamless experience for both you, and your customer.
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.

May Sales Roundup

Most of the publicly traded companies tracked by MULTICHANNEL MERCHANT posted solid sales growth in May. For example, May revenue for the catalog/Internet unit of Plano, TX-based J.C. Penney (NYSE: JCP) increased 8%, to $193 million from $179 million last year. Total Penney sales for the month increased 5%, to $1.30 billion from $1.22 billion.

Not to be outdone, Hingham, MA-based apparel cataloger/retailer The Talbots (NYSE: TLB) reported an 11% increase in May revenue, to $137.3 million the four weeks ended May 28. Talbots does not break out monthly catalog sales data.

May sales at women’s apparel mailer Victoria Secret Direct, part of Columbus, OH-based retailer Limited Brands (NYSE: LTD), increased 7% from last year. Merchandise margins, however, declined. Total net sales for Limited Brands rose 5%, to $672.9 million the four weeks ended May 28.

New York-based Bluefly (NASDAQ SmallCap: BFLY), an online-only seller of discount designer apparel, reported a 35% leap in May sales, to $4.2 million compared with $3.1 million last year.

The sun didn’t shine on San Francisco-based Sharper Image (Nasdaq: SHRP), however. Total direct sales (including wholesale) for the cataloger/retailer of high-tech gadgets and gifts tumbled 27%, to $10.1 million from the previous May’s $13.8 million. Total sales fell 11%, to $45.6 million for the month ended May 31, while comparable store sales dropped 15%.

On a broader retail landscape, the Washington-based National Retail Federation (NRF) cited weak sales and traffic for an only marginal gain in its monthly Retail Sector Performance index. The index measures retail executives’ evaluations of monthly sales, customer traffic, average transaction per customer, employment, inventories, and a six-month-ahead sales outlook expectation.

Unseasonably cooler weather in May curtailed customer traffic, according to the NRF. But president/ CEO Tracy Mullin said in a statement, “As the weather begins to warm up and gas prices continue to drop, we expect retailers to shake this summer swoon.”

Partner Content

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.
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.

May Sales Roundup

For most of the publicly traded catalogers tracked by CATALOG AGE, May was indeed a merry month. Many of the marketers posted healthy double-digit year-over-year sales gains.

For example, total May sales at San Francisco-based gadgets marketer Sharper Image (Nasdaq: SHRP) increased 18%, to $51.4 million from $43.7 million the previous May. Catalog/direct marketing sales increased 18%, to $13.8 million from $11.7 million. Internet sales increased 11%, to $7.3 million. Store sales increased 19%, to $30.3 million, while comparable store sales rose 1%.

Total May revenue at upscale apparel and decor marketer Dallas-based Neiman Marcus Group (NYSE: NMG.A.) increased 9%, to $246 million from $227 million last year. May revenue at Neiman Marcus Direct, which includes the Horchow and The Chef’s Catalog titles, increased15%.

Jos. A. Bank Clothiers (Nasdaq NM: JOSB) posted a 22% jump in May sales, to $26.2 million from $21.4 million in May 2003. Combined catalog and Internet sales for the Hampstead, MD-based men’s clothier increased 26%. Comparable store sales increased 6%.

Hingham, MA-based The Talbots (NYSE: TLB) enjoyed a 10% increase in total May sales, to $127.6 million from last year’s $115.9 million. The apparel cataloger/retailer, which does not break out monthly catalog data, attributes the gains to strong selling of regularly-priced merchandise.

May catalog/Internet sales for Plano, TX-based J.C. Penney (NYSE: JCP) were flat at $179 million. But the general merchandiser’s total May sales increased 8%, to $1.2 billion from $1.1 billion last year. Monthly department store sales increased 9%, to $1.0 billion. Penney expects continued flat sales for the catalog/Internet business in June. Victoria’s Secret Direct, a subsidiary of Columbus, OH-based Limited Brands (NYSE: LTD), reported a 9% increase in May sales. Internet sales, the company says, “continue to experience strong growth.” Monthly net sales at Limited Brands totaled $641.4 million, a 4% increase from last year’s $618.1 million.

New York-based Bluefly (Nasdaq SmallCap: BFLY), an Internet cataloger of discounted designer apparel and home goods, posted a 24% rise in May net sales, to more than $3.1 million from more than $2.5 million last year.

Finally, as operations at beleaguered Downers Grove, IL-based Spiegel Group wind down–it sold its Newport News and Spiegel catalog businesses to Pangea Holdings last month—the cataloger/retailer reported a 28% decline in May sales, to $109.3 million compared with last year’s $150.9 million.

May direct net sales at Spiegel Group, which also includes the still for-sale Eddie Bauer business, decreased 7% due to circulation cuts. Comparable-store sales for Eddie Bauer also decreased 7%.

Partner Content

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.
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.

May sales roundup

Is the economy heading for a recovery? Well, the May sales figures at cataloger/retailers Jos. A. Bank Clothiers (Nasdaq: JOSB) and Sharper Image (Nasdaq: SHRP) are encouraging enough. Men’s apparel marketer Jos. A. Bank enjoyed a 52% jump in May catalog and Internet sales. Total sales for the fiscal month ended June 1 were $18.2 million, up 15% from $15.9 million the previous May. Comparable store sales increased 2%.

May catalog sales at high-tech gadgets marketer Sharper Image increased 21%, to $10.7 million from $8.8 million last year. Total sales increased 20%, to $35.2 million from $29.3 million. Internet sales, including auction sales, increased 25%, to $4.8 million from $3.8 million.

May revenue at apparel cataloger/retailer J. Crew inched upward to $56.6 million from $56.0 million last year. Net sales for the direct division increased 1%. Comparable store sales decreased 11%.

The two general-merchandise giants, J. C. Penney (NYSE: JCP) and Spiegel Group (OTC: SPGLA), didn’t fare so well. Catalog sales at Penney decreased 19%, to $178 million for the four weeks ended May 25, falling below Penney’s expectations. Total company sales decreased 1%, to $2.26 billion from $2.29 billion last May. Comparable department store sales fell 5%.

And sales at Spiegel, which includes the Newport News catalog and cataloger/retailer Eddie Bauer, suffered a 24% slump in sales, to $169.9 million for the four weeks ended May 25 from $223.0 million last May. Total direct sales declined 27%, while retail store sales fell 19%. Web sales dropped 3% for the month.

Sales at Eddie Bauer fell 23%, compared with 29% at Newport News and 22% at Spiegel catalog. Although circulation cuts contributed to the declines, so did weak customer demand. Sales results for Newport News and Spiegel catalog continue to be hurt by the more stringent credit-granting measures implemented at the company’s private-label credit card business.

Partner Content

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.
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.