May 17, 2001, 12:00 AM

Sharper Image’s Q1 Internet sales increase 15% from year ago

Sharper Image’s web sales growth to $9.7 million mirror overall growth at the company for the first quarter.

First quarter Internet sales at Sharper Image Corp. increased 15% over the year-ago Q1, the company reported today. Sharperimage.com had sales of $9.7 million in the quarter, up from last year’s $8.4 million. Companywide, sales grew 15% to $69.8 million, from last year`s $60.9 million. Store sales increased 4% to $39.8 million from $38.2 million; comparable store sales deceased 1%. Catalog sales of $18 million increased 48% from $12.2 million. The first quarter net loss of $2.8 million, or $(0.23) per share, is compared to last year`s net income of $105 thousand, or $0.01 per diluted share.

"There were several encouraging signs during the first quarter`s challenging retail environment. The company achieved solid sales gains for the quarter, especially considering last year`s outstanding sales increase of 45%," said Richard Thalheimer, founder, chairman and chief executive officer. "The 1% decrease in comparable stores sales reflects the prior year’s exceptional comparable store increase of 32%, fueled by Razor scooter sales. With Razor scooter sales removed from the calculation, first quarter comparable store sales increased 4% and total store sales increased 10%. Also important to note is that our Internet increase for the first quarter, excluding the auction site sales, grew approximately 32% which is ahead of our expectations."

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