Profits, Direct Sales Slide at J. Crew

First-quarter sales for apparel merchant J. Crew increased 2%, to $345.8 million for the period ended May 2. The cataloger/retailer’s direct sales fell 6%, to $95.4 million while its store sales increased 5%, to $240.7 million.

Worse, yet, New York-based J. Crew’s net income dropped 33%, to $20.4 million. That’s down from $30.5 million in the first quarter last year.

“We are relatively pleased with our first quarter results and while earnings were lower than last year, we did experience an improved trend in our business,” said J. Crew’s chairman/CEO Millard Drexler in a release. “We think it is clear that there is no choice in this environment than to continue to be creative and figure out where the customer is going, not to respond to where he or she has been.”

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