January 7, 2005, 12:00 AM

Sharper Image’s Internet sales lag with rest of sales

Internet sales in December at Sharper Image Corp. increased 5% to $24.8 million from last December`s $23.7 million, the company reported this week. Companywide sales in December were up 6% to $164.3 million from last December.

Kurt Peters

Executive Editor

 

Internet sales in December at Sharper Image Corp. increased 5% to $24.8 million from last December`s $23.7 million, the company reported this week.

Companywide sales in December were up 6% to $164.3 million from last December`s $155.6 million. Total store sales increased 8% to $116.5 million from last December`s $108 million. Comparable store sales decreased 7%. Catalog/direct marketing sales (including wholesale and excluding the Internet) decreased 3% to $23 million from last December`s $23.9 million.

The web accounted for 15% of all sales in December unchanged from the year-earlier December.

For the first 11 months of the year, Internet sales increased 24% to $106.6 million from last year`s $86 million and accounted for 15.4% of all sales. A year ago, web sales were 14.7% of all sales. Companywide sales in the 11 months were up 19% to $691.3 million from $582.8 million. Total store sales increased 15% to $407.3 million from $354 million, while comparable store sales decreased 1%. Catalog/direct marketing sales (including wholesale and excluding Internet ) increased 24% to $177.4 million from last year`s $142.8 million; the 2003 year-to-date increase was 35%.

"As we previewed on Dec. 27, 2004, we are disappointed in our December sales," said Richard Thalheimer, founder, chairman and CEO. "While our product assortment was well received by shoppers, our in-stock position in some key holiday items was less than optimal and our store traffic in December was lighter than anticipated. We remain confident in the soundness of the strategy that has generated such excellent growth in sales and earnings over the past five years.”

 

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