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Spiegel Group December Sales 2002

From: ASAP

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The Spiegel Group today reported sales of $371.8 million for the five weeks ended December 28, 2002, a 17 percent decrease from sales of $447.8 million for the five-week period ended December 29, 2001.

For the 52 weeks ended December 28, 2002, total sales declined 18 percent to $2.282 billion from $2.782 billion in the same period last year.

The company also reported that comparable-store sales for its Eddie Bauer division decreased 6 percent for the five-week period and 12 percent for the 52-week period. Positive customer response to Eddie Bauer's women's apparel offer was offset by lackluster sales in men's apparel. However, Eddie Bauer continued to achieve a higher margin rate compared to last year due to lower markdowns and promotional activity.

The Group's sales results by division for December include a decline of 7 percent at Eddie Bauer, 25 percent at Newport News, and 41 percent at Spiegel Catalog. Sales results for Newport News and Spiegel Catalog reflect a significant reduction in catalog pages circulated as well as the continuing impact of the company's more-restrictive credit granting measures with regard to its private-label credit.

For the full year ended December 28, 2002, sales declined 11 percent at Eddie Bauer, 25 percent at Newport News and 29 percent at Spiegel Catalog.

Sales from the Group's e-commerce channel were flat for the month compared to last year. Total direct sales declined 27 percent and the Group's retail store sales decreased 8 percent for the month versus the same period a year ago.

The company stated that inventories were down 14 percent at the end of December compared to last year, reflecting its ongoing efforts to tightly control inventory levels.

The Spiegel Group is a leading international specialty retailer marketing fashionable apparel and home furnishings to customers through catalogs, more than 570 specialty retail and outlet stores, and e-commerce sites, including eddiebauer.com, newport-news.com and spiegel.com. The Spiegel Group's businesses include Eddie Bauer, Newport News, Spiegel Catalog and First Consumers National Bank. The company's Class A Non-Voting Common Stock trades on the over-the-counter market ("Pink Sheets") under the ticker symbol: SPGLA. Investor relations information is available on The Spiegel Group Web site at http://www.thespiegelgroup.com.

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