NEW YORK — American Eagle Outfitters managed what Nordstrom and Hot Topic couldn’t last month — a comparable-store increase.

Based in Warrendale, Pa., American Eagle reported that its January comps rose 6.2 percent. With one less week of selling during this year’s month, overall sales for January dropped 5.3 percent, to $68.5 million from $72.3 million in January 2001.

Upscale retailer Nordstrom Inc. said its comparable-store sales were down 2.7 percent on a preliminary sales increase of 0.1 percent, to $324.6 million, for the month of January. Other retailers are due to report January comps today.

Adjusting for differences in the calendar, Seattle-based Nordstrom said comps declined 5.5 percent. Sales in full-line stores decreased in all geographic regions and decreased in all merchandise categories except cosmetics. Total sales decreased approximately 2.4 percent. Preliminary fourth-quarter comps declined 3.4 percent and sales decreased 1.4 percent, to $1.6 billion from $1.7 billion. Nordstrom’s expects to announce fourth-quarter results Feb. 21.

Teen retailer Hop Topic said its comps for January dropped 3.1 percent, below plan, on a 7.5 percent sales decrease, to $18.1 million from $19.6 million. The 2002 month was five weeks versus four for its 2001 counterpart. The City of Industry, Calif.-based retailer also said comps for the fourth quarter ended Feb. 2 increased by 3.8 percent, marking its 12th consecutive quarter of positive comps.

Betsy McLaughlin, president and chief executive officer, said in a statement: “Despite the disappointing January sales, we ended the fourth quarter and year with our margins and inventory on plan.”

Factory 2-U Stores said its comps fell by 9.6 percent and sales plunged 20.9 percent, to $27.5 million from $34.8 million. The San Diego-based off-price retailer also announced it will implement a profit improvement plan, principally consisting of the previously reported closing of 28 underperforming stores, as well as the realignment of its field organization and workforce reductions related to store closures. The execution of this plan is expected to result in a charge of $13.2 million aftertax charge, or $1.02 per share.

load comments
blog comments powered by Disqus