In Brief: Eddie’s Sales Fall … Vernon Sold

A brief look at some of the day's stories.

EDDIE’S SALES FALL: Eddie Bauer Holdings Inc. said Wednesday that its loss from continuing operations before income taxes, interest expense, and depreciation and amortization expense for the first quarter ended April 1 was $19.5 million, which compares with an income of $4.7 million on a pro forma basis in the prior year. Total revenues for the quarter dropped to $194.5 million from $221.9 million in the first quarter of 2005. Same-store sales for the first quarter declined 10 percent. The company said its gross margin rate dropped to 26.9 percent from a pro forma gross margin of 33.9 percent in the prior year. “The principal factor impacting the decline in gross margin percentage for first quarter 2006 versus the pro forma gross margin percentage for the prior-year quarter was the higher level of markdowns taken in order to drive merchandise sales,” the company said in a statement.

VERNON SOLD: LV Catalog Holding Corp., an affiliate of Sun Capital Partners, has acquired Lillian Vernon Corp. from Direct Holdings Worldwide Inc. Terms of the acquisition were not disclosed. Vernon, based in White Plains, N.Y., is a 55-year-old catalogue and online retailer that markets fashion accessories, gifts, holiday decor and household and children’s products. One of the largest specialty catalogue marketers in the U.S., Vernon mailed more than 100 million catalogues to 15 million households in 2005. Half of Vernon’s business is conducted online. Direct Holdings purchased Vernon’s business in July 2003.

This story first appeared in the June 1, 2006 issue of WWD.  Subscribe Today.