Spiegel sales dive amid reorganization

The Spiegel Group reported net sales of $98.6 million for the four weeks ended Jan. 31, a 27 percent decrease compared to net sales of $135.6 million for the four weeks ended Jan. 25, 2003.

The company also reported that comparable-store sales for its Eddie Bauer division decreased 7 percent for the four-week period ended Jan. 31, compared to the same period last year.

Net sales for January include $3.8 million in liquidation sales resulting from the sale and transfer of inventory in early January to an independent liquidator in conjunction with the closing of 29 Eddie Bauer stores.

Excluding the liquidation sales, the group's net sales from retail and outlet stores fell 32 percent compared to the same period last year, primarily due to the impact of store closings and a decline in comparable-store sales, said Spiegel.

The company operated 440 stores at the end of January 2004 compared to 565 stores at the end of January 2003.

Most of the store closings, said the company, resulted from actions taken as part of its ongoing reorganization process.

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