Sharper Image, Tiffany report slight declines in December sales

High-tech gadgets cataloger/retailer marketer Sharper Image (Nasdaq: SHRP) reported a 3% decline in December sales, to $93.6 million from $96.9 million for December 2001. Catalog sales decreased a more sizable 18%, to $17.1 million from $21.0 million. Internet sales, including auctions, decreased 24%, to $10.8 million from $14.3 million. Comparable store sales decreased 4% for the month.

The San Francisco-based company put the blame squarely on the overwhelming success last year of its Razor scooter, a fad that has since ebbed. Excluding scooter sales, December’s total company sales increased 6.

Jewelry and gifts cataloger/retailer Tiffany & Co. (NYSE: TIF) reported a 2% decline in total December net sales, to $472.7 million. On the bright side, combined Internet/catalog sales rose 25%. But revenue within the corporate sales division fell 28%. Both groups make up Tiffany’s direct marketing division, which saw sales decline 2% overall from the previous December.

New York-based Tiffany expects a fourth-quarter net sales to be 3% below those for the previous fiscal fourth quarter. But it is projecting that net earnings will be at the upper end of the expected range of $0.49-$0.56 per diluted share; for the fourth quarter of fiscal 2000, net earnings were $0.56 per diluted share. For the year, Tiffany anticipates net earnings of $1.09-$1.16 per diluted share, compared with $1.26 last year.

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