BLAIR LOSS GROWS IN 3RD QUARTER

NEW YORK — Start-up costs for e-commerce initiatives and a new catalog pushed Blair Corp.’s third-quarter losses beyond year-ago levels.
However, results for the nine months showed improvements in both profits and sales.
The net loss for the three months ended Sept. 30 reached $773,477, or 9 cents a share, versus a loss of $732,400, or 8 cents, in the 1999 quarter.
Sales sputtered ahead 3.2 percent to $115.2 million from $111.7 million in the year-ago quarter.
John Zawacki, president and chief executive, described expanding e-commerce initiatives and the initiation of Crossing Pointe, a new women’s apparel catalog aimed at female baby boomers, as “key elements of our strategic plan to become a billion-dollar company before the end of the decade.”
He described the Warren, Pa.-based company as “the premier direct marketer to the growing mature, low-to-moderate income consumer segment” and noted that it was seeking a younger audience for its merchandise, which includes women’s and men’s apparel products and home furnishings.
For the nine months, net income was $14.5 million, or $1.80 a share, 119.4 percent above the $6.6 million, or 79 cents, reported for the first nine months of last year. Sales were ahead 9.6 percent to $402.3 million from $367.1 million.
The improvement in the nine months was attributed to higher response rates to catalogs and letter-style mailing, lower return levels and reduced liquidation costs.
Furthermore, the improvement in response rates resulted from “improved target marketing capabilities resulting from the leveraging of marketing and credit information in our corporate database.”

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