September 6, 2001, 12:00 AM

Internet sales boom again in midst of Spiegel decline

Internet sales at multi-channel retailer The Spiegel Group increased 60% in August, while companywide sales decreased 9%, the company announced today.

Internet sales at multi-channel retailer The Spiegel Group increased 60% in August, while companywide sales decreased 9%, the company announced today.

Spiegel does not break out dollar figures for Internet-based sales. Total sales in August reached $188.7 million, down from $208.2 million in August 2000.

For the thirty-four weeks ended August 25, total sales declined 5% to $1.635 billion from $1.726 billion in the same period last year.

Sales at Spiegel’s Eddie Bauer stores fell 6% in the month, sales for Newport News dropped 12% and Spiegel sales declined 15%.

The company also reported that comparable-store sales Eddie Bauer decreased 11% in August and 10% for the 34-week period ended August 25.

For the month, retail store sales declined 7% and catalog sales dropped 21%

"Each of our merchant companies made conservative inventory commitments going into the fall season," said Jim Cannataro, executive vice president and chief financial officer of The Spiegel Group. "We will continue to focus on tightly managing inventory levels, taking the necessary steps to keep inventories current. In our Eddie Bauer division, we have taken aggressive markdowns to move prior season product and have a clear presentation of the new fall product.

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