CHICAGO — Hurt by a decline in apparel sales, Evans Inc. posted a first-quarter loss of $942,000.

In the year-ago quarter, special gains resulted in a profit of $1.1 million, or 21 cents. The profit was after a $1.5 million accounting gain and a $435,000 gain from the termination of leased fur operations with The May Department Stores Co.

Sales for the quarter ended May 28 fell 9.6 percent to $11.7 million from $12.9 million.

Same-store sales were flat for the company’s fur stores, but same-store apparel sales dropped 5.3 percent.

David B. Meltzer, chairman and chief executive officer, said the results were in line with expectations. He said expenses were reduced and the service business was up 10 percent in the quarter.

He added that the weakness in the apparel segment reflects the tough women’s apparel industry and “consumer spending being channeled into more durable goods.” He added that recently the apparel trend has improved.

Patrick J. Regan, executive vice president and chief operating officer, said the company is on plan with cash flow with $4.3 million, after spending $789,000 on additional property and equipment. Evans completed renovating a River Oaks store and is on schedule for a July opening of a Yorktown mall location, Regan noted.

Evans operates 12 stores in Chicago, three in Washington and four in Texas. Fur apparel is carried in all the company stores, while women’s apparel is only offered at the Chicago stores. Evans also operates leased fur operations in Dayton Hudson Corp., Federated Department Stores Inc., Strawbridge & Clothier and Filene’s Basement Inc.

Evans closed Friday at 3 1/8, down 3/8 in over-the-counter trading.

— Fairchild News Service

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