Home Flat at Retail Ventures

Home is not one of the better-performing categories at Retail Ventures, although the multi-channel retailer has tightened inventories and bumped up gross margins, dramatically reducing second quarter losses.

Retail Ventures recorded a second quarter net loss of $16.0 million, compared to a net loss of $157.3 million for the same period one year ago. Sales grew 2.7% to $684.5 million from $666.7 million a year ago. Comps were up 0.6%.

Jim McGrady, cfo, told analysts recently that divisional comps were down 2.2% at discount general merchandiser Value City, were up 2.2% at shoe superstore chain DSW, and up 5.4% at off-pricer Filene’s Basement, by far the smallest unit of the company.

Best-performing categories across the company were in such areas as apparel, fashion accessories, and cosmetics. Home fared less well. At Value City, the company said sales of textiles and domestics were up 1%, while at Filene’s Basement, home came in at negative 3%.

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