The Spiegel Group last week reported sales of $139.1 million for the four weeks ended July 27, 2002, a 13 percent decrease compared to sales of $160.0 million for the same four-week period last year.
For the 30 weeks ended July 27, 2002, sales declined 16 percent to $1.210 billion from $1.446 billion in the same period last year.
The company also stated that its Eddie Bauer division showed progress again this month, lowering its comparable-store sales decline compared to previous months this year and last July. Eddie Bauer reported a 5 percent comparable-store sales decline for July, noting particularly strong customer response to its women's apparel offer. Last July, comparable-store sales fell 8 percent. For the 30-week period ended July 27, 2002, Eddie Bauer's comparable-store sales declined 13 percent.
The Group's sales results by division for July reflect a decline of 2 percent at Eddie Bauer, 15 percent at Newport News, and 33 percent at Spiegel Catalog. Eddie Bauer continues to make steady progress in improving its sales trend, while sales for Spiegel Catalog and Newport News continue to be restrained by more stringent credit-granting measures taken in the company's private-label credit card business. While these measures are negatively impacting sales near-term, they are an integral part of strategies aimed at attracting and retaining higher-quality credit customers and building stronger long-term customer relationships.
Sales from the Group's e-commerce channel grew 1 percent for the month. Total direct sales declined 19 percent and the Group's retail store sales decreased 6 percent.
While sales were lower, the company tightly managed inventories, with inventory levels down 17 percent at the end of July compared to last year.
The Spiegel Group is a leading international specialty retailer marketing fashionable apparel and home furnishings to customers through catalogs, about 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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