SPIEGEL EXPECTS WEATHER TO HIT EARNINGS IN '94

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DOWNERS GROVE, Ill.--Blaming warm weather for sluggish apparel sales, Spiegel Inc. said it expects earnings for 1994 to fall below 1993 earnings of $48.7 million, or 47 cents a share.
The company said lower-than-expected sales in catalog and retail units will hurt results for the year ending Dec. 31. Fourth-quarter sales were dampened by unseasonably warm weather and an intensifying promotional environment at retail, the company explained. Sales of apparel, particularly outerwear and other cold-weather-related products suffered, the company said.
These products are significant for the Eddie Bauer division, the company pointed out.
Weak December sales come after two soft months. In November and October, Eddie Bauer's same-store sales slipped 3 percent. For the year to date through November 26, comparable-store sales were improved by 6 percent.
Looking ahead, the company said it that it is expecting improved performance in 1995, with the assistance of the continued expansion of Eddie Bauer, savings that are expected to be realized from its new 1.5 million-square-foot catalog distribution facility and refinements of merchandising strategies. Sixty Eddie Bauer units in the United States and Canada are scheduled to open in 1995.
Expansion is also planned in Japan. Eddie Bauer currently is operating 352 stores in the United States and Canada and three in Japan.--Fairchild News Service

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