July 6, 2006, 12:00 AM

Sharper Image racks up another month of declining sales; JCP.com rises 27%

Internet sales at Sharper Image Corp. in June were down 19% from June last year, falling to $5.4 million from $6.7 million, the company reports. Total sales in June were down 21% from a year earlier.

Internet sales at Sharper Image Corp. in June were down 19% from June last year, falling to $5.4 million from $6.7 million, the company reports. Total sales in June decreased 21% from a year earlier, down to $36.4 million from $46 million. Comparable store sales fell 26% from a year earlier, while total store sales were down 24%, to $23.4 million from $30.9 million. The Internet accounted for 14.8% of sales in June vs. 14.6% a year earlier. Total catalog sales/direct marketing sales, including wholesale, were down 10% to $7.6 million from $8.5 million.

For the first five months of Sharper Image’s fiscal year, Internet sales were down 23% to $27.8 million from $36 million, while total sales were down 26% to $173.4 million from $232.8 million. Total store sales for the five months were down 28% to $99.6 million from $138.4 million, while comparable store sales decreased 30%. Total catalog sales/direct marketing sales, including wholesale, were down 21% to $45.9 million from $58.3 million.

"The June sales results continue to reflect previously disclosed softness in three major categories: the slowing of Ionic Breeze Air Purifiers, the slowing of massage chairs, and the discontinuation of the Apple iPod sales," said Richard Thalheimer, founder and CEO. "However, there are many parts of our recovery strategy that are working well, and I am encouraged by the progress we are currently seeing. The re-merchandising of our stores and catalog is proceeding as planned, and many of the new products are selling at or above my expectations. Although the numbers for this month reflect only a modest improvement, I see that the sales are steadily responding to the new mix, and I expect to continue to see improving trends. That will become more apparent in the last half of our fiscal year, particularly the important fourth quarter. Though it is discouraging to look at double digit negative numbers for this month, I remain cautiously optimistic about our business."

June web sales at J.C. Penney Co. Inc. increased 27% over June last year, while total department store sales rose 5% to $1.4 million from $1.3 million a year earlier. Comparable department store sales rose 4.3%. J.C. Penney does not report Internet dollar sales on a monthly basis.

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