The Spiegel Group reported sales of $171.9 million for the four weeks ended October 26, 2002, a 21 percent decrease compared to sales of $217.9 million for the same four-week period last year.
For the 43 weeks ended October 26, 2002, sales declined 18 percent to $1.715 billion from $2.079 billion in the same period last year.
The company also reported that comparable-store sales for its Eddie Bauer division decreased seven percent for the four-week period and 13 percent for the 43-week period ended October 26, 2002. Customer response to Eddie Bauer's new merchandising initiatives gained momentum in October, with particular strength noted in outerwear, women's sweaters and cold-weather related accessories. In addition, sales promotions were substantially lower than last year, resulting in a significant increase in the gross margin rate for the month compared to last year.
The Group's sales results by division for October include a decline of nine percent at Eddie Bauer, 25 percent at Newport News, and 42 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 more-restrictive credit granting measures taken in the company's private-label credit card business.
Sales from the Group's e-commerce channel were flat for the month compared to last year. Total direct sales declined 29 percent and the Group's retail store sales decreased ten percent for the month versus the same period a year ago.
The company stated that inventories were down 15 percent at the end of October compared to last year, as it continues to tightly control inventory levels.
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