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Spiegel Group Sales

From: ASAP

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The Spiegel Group today reported sales of $167.0 million for the four weeks ended April 27, 2002, a 19 percent decrease from sales of $205.4 million for the same period ended April 28, 2001.

For the 17 weeks ended April 27, 2002, total sales declined 14 percent to $704.0 million from $817.1 million in the same period last year.

The company also reported that comparable-store sales for its Eddie Bauer division decreased 14 percent for the four-week period and 15 percent for the 17-week period ended April 27, 2002. The shift of the Easter holiday into March this year from April last year adversely impacted the sales comparison this month. Lower sales in Eddie Bauer's apparel division were offset somewhat by a high single-digit comparable-store sales gain in its home division.

The Group's sales results by division for the month of April reflect a decline of 9 percent at Eddie Bauer, 33 percent at Newport News and 27 percent at Spiegel Catalog. The sales decline at Newport News and Spiegel Catalog primarily reflects the impact of more restrictive credit-granting policies implemented as these divisions focus on strategic initiatives aimed at attracting and retaining higher-quality credit customers.

Sales from the Group's e-commerce channel posted an 11 percent increase for the month. Total direct sales declined 22 percent and the Group's retail store sales decreased 14 percent.

The company stated that it continues to manage inventories tightly, with inventory levels at the end of April down 16 percent compared to last year. The company also noted that despite its disappointing sales results, it has successfully reduced markdowns and increased gross profit margins this year.

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