American Apparel Inc. Monday reported its third consecutive month of double-digit comparable-store sales gains as it registered an 11 percent uptick in February.
The mark matched the results for both January and December and surpassed the 7 percent increase reported for November after the company, encouraged by improving top-line results, resumed monthly reporting of its sales. The extra day last month because of leap year added 3 percentage points to its comps, the company said.
While same-store sales increases maintained their strong cadence, growth of online sales slowed to 7 percent, versus online increases of 41 percent, 21 percent and 38 percent in January, December and November, respectively. The combination of comparable-store and online sales, often referred to as comparable sales, finished February up 10 percent, below the respective marks of 15 percent and 12 percent in January and December and on par with November’s performance.
Wholesale net sales were up 24 percent last month and total net sales rose 13 percent to $42.1 million versus the 2011 month. Wholesale revenues grew 23 percent in January, 25 percent in December and 1 percent in November.
“Our comparable-store sales increase was driven by a combination of higher unit sales and an increase in average unit retail prices,” said Dov Charney, chairman and chief executive officer of the Los Angeles-based vertically integrated manufacturer/retailer. “Our imprintable wholesale sales continue to run at record levels across a broad base of customers and categories. As we enter the spring season, our inventories are in line and are well positioned to continue with positive sales momentum.”
American Apparel’s strong sales numbers have yet to affect its stock price, which remains at less than half the 52-week high of $1.69 reached on April 26. On Monday, shares closed unchanged at 75 cents. While no longer haunted by the possibility of an enforcement action by the Securities and Exchange Commission or delisting due to failure to comply with NYSE Amex LLC regulations about its board composition, it still faces liquidity issues including debt of over $100 million to Lion Capital, for which it is paying 18 percent interest, and a credit facility with Bank of America that matures in July.