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Gottschalks continues cuts to home textiles

Fresno,Calif.Gottschalks continues to downsize home textiles in its merchandise mix, “shifting dollars so that what would have been a textiles inventory might be shifted to housewares or gift items,” said president and ceo Jim Famalette during the 73-unit department store operator’s first-quarter earnings call yesterday.

The retailer reported a net loss of $4.7 million for the quarter, vs. a $4.0 million loss one year ago. Sales fell 1.2% to $141.8 million, while comps were off 0.8%.

Gottschalks said May comp-store sales fell 3.8% and overall sales dropped 5.1% to $46.4 million.

“Despite a slowing housing market,” Famalette did note strength in the furniture and mattresses categories, where sales were basically even with the first quarter of 2006.

On the flip side, Famalette pointed out “the most difficult businesses” for the period included top-of-bed “and items such as that.”

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