For the second quarter, the Company reported net income of $43.6 million, a decrease of 18.4% compared to net income of $53.4 million in last year's second quarter, and earnings per diluted share of $0.27, a decrease of 15.6% compared to a record $0.32 per diluted share in last year's second quarter.
For the twenty-six weeks ended August 3, 2013, the Company reported net income of $94.7 million, a decrease of 11.5% compared to net income of $107.0 million in the same period last year, and earnings per diluted share of $0.58, a decrease of 9.4% compared to $0.64 per diluted share in the same period last year.
For the second quarter, net sales were a record $649.5 million, an increase of 1.2% compared to $641.7 million in last year's second quarter, primarily reflecting 112 net new stores for a square footage increase of 8.8%. Comparable sales for the second quarter decreased 2.6% following a 5.6% increase in last year's second quarter, reflecting lower transaction count and average dollar sale primarily as a result of the impact of lower traffic and the cycling of strong comparable sales last year.
The Chico's/Soma Intimates brands' comparable sales decreased 3.1% following a 7.2% increase in last year's second quarter for a two-year stack of up 4.1% and the White House | Black Market brand's comparable sales decreased 1.5% following a 2.3% increase in last year's second quarter for a two-year stack of up 0.8%.
For the second quarter, gross margin was $356.1 million compared to $362.2 million in last year's second quarter. Gross margin was 54.8% of net sales, a 160 basis point decrease from last year's second quarter, primarily reflecting increased promotional activity in response to lower traffic and investment in new distribution automation, partially offset by lower incentive compensation as a percent of net sales.
Selling, General and Administrative Expenses
For the second quarter, selling, general and administrative expenses ("SG&A") were $286.3 million compared to $276.1 million in last year's second quarter. SG&A was 44.0% of net sales, a 100 basis point increase from last year's second quarter, primarily reflecting deleverage of occupancy and marketing expenses and the impact of investment spending on strategic initiatives, partially offset by lower incentive compensation as a percent of net sales.
At the end of the second quarter, total inventories were $211.1 million compared to $191.7 million at the end of the second quarter last year. Inventories increased by $19.4 million, or 10.1%, primarily reflecting the impact of new stores and the calendar shift from last fiscal year's 53rd week.
Excluding the impact of the calendar shift as it relates to the timing of merchandise receipts, inventories increased approximately 2.1% from prior year, in line with planned sales growth. In-store inventory per selling square foot decreased approximately 1.4% compared to the second quarter of last year.
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