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%.