The Spiegel Group today reported sales of $183.6 million for the five weeks ended September 28, 2002, a 19 percent decrease compared to sales of $226.0 million for the same five-week period last year.
For the 39 weeks ended September 28, 2002, sales declined 17 percent to $1.543 billion from $1.861 billion in the same period last year.
The company also reported that comparable-store sales for its Eddie Bauer division decreased 14 percent for both the five-week period and 39-week period ended September 28, 2002. Favorable customer response to Eddie Bauer's women's apparel and home offer was offset by sales weakness in men's apparel and gear and accessories. Initial customer response to Eddie Bauer's outerwear offer has been positive, led by strong demand for its new washable Seattle Suede(TM) jackets. For the month, Eddie Bauer achieved higher margins due to lower markdowns and promotional activity.
The Group's sales results by division for September include a decline of 12 percent at Eddie Bauer, 31 percent at Newport News, and 25 percent at Spiegel Catalog. Sales results for Spiegel Catalog and Newport News reflect a significant reduction in catalog circulation as well as the impact of more-restrictive credit policies implemented in the company's private-label credit card business, which is in line with their strategies to attract and retain higher-quality credit customers.
Sales from the Group's e-commerce channel increased five percent for the month compared to last year. Total direct sales declined 23 percent and the Group's retail store sales decreased 13 percent for the month versus the same period a year ago.
The company also noted that its inventories were down 13 percent at the end of September compared to last year as it continues to focus on tightly managing 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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