Cost cuts propel Blair

Warren, PA–Sales fell 10% at women’s apparel cataloger Blair Corp. (Amex: BL), which mails the Blair apparel and home goods catalogs and the Crossing Pointe apparel title. But keen inventory management controls resulted in lower inventory liquidation costs which, in turn, carried the venerable low-end marketer to profitability.

Net sales for the quarter ended June 30, were $148.0 million compared to $164.1 million for the same quarter last year. But net income increased 27%, to $7.0 million, compared with net income of $5.5 million last year.

Operating costs, which include advertising, general and administrative, and interest expenses, decreased 15% in the second quarter.

In the first six months of 2002, Blair has generated more than $25 million in gross Web sales compared to $10 million in the first six months of 2001. In a company release, president/CEO John Zawacki, reiterated his expectations for Blair to reach $1 billion in sales by the end of the decade.

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