Citi Trends, Inc reported unaudited sales results for the fourth quarter and fiscal year ended February 1, 2014.
The Company's 2013 fiscal year contained 52 weeks, while the 2012 fiscal year contained 53 weeks. Accordingly, the comparison of total sales between fiscal years is affected by the extra week of sales at the beginning of fiscal 2012.
Total sales in fiscal 2013 decreased 5.0% to $622.2 million compared with $654.7 million in fiscal 2012, with the extra week at the beginning of last year contributing approximately $21 million. For comparable store sales, the Company is reporting on a comparable weeks basis (i.e. the 52 weeks ended February 1, 2014 compared to the 52 weeks ended February 2, 2013). Comparable store sales on a comparable weeks basis decreased 1.6% for the year.
The Company's 2013 fiscal fourth quarter contained 13 weeks, while the 2012 fiscal fourth quarter contained 14 weeks. Accordingly, the comparison of total sales between quarters is affected by an extra week of sales at the beginning of the fourth quarter of fiscal 2012.
Total sales in fiscal 2013's fourth quarter decreased 10.5% to $157.2 million compared with $175.7 million in last year's fourth quarter, with the extra week at the beginning of fiscal 2012's fourth quarter contributing approximately $12 million to total sales.
For comparable store sales, the Company is reporting on a comparable weeks basis (i.e. the 13 weeks ended February 1, 2014 compared to the 13 weeks ended February 2, 2013). Comparable store sales on a comparable weeks basis decreased 3.5% for the quarter. By month, comparable store sales on a comparable weeks basis increased 0.4% in November and decreased 4.6% and 6.5% in December and January, respectively.
Ed Anderson, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, commented, "We are disappointed with the 3.5% comparable store sales decrease in the fourth quarter. We had expected more sales due to the positive momentum from the previous two quarters as well as a slight sales increase in November.
The hanging apparel businesses - ladies, men's and kids - all decreased in the fourth quarter. Our strategy for cold weather product, particularly in ladies apparel, proved to be too conservative and we missed sales as a result. In addition, winter storms caused a large part of the January sales decrease.
There were several positives in the quarter. The accessories, including footwear, and home businesses continued to deliver sales increases. Cost of sales as a percentage of sales improved approximately 400 basis points due to better inventory management, which resulted in fewer clearance markdowns. Also, despite sales being below expectations, we ended the quarter with 10% less inventory than a year ago.
We believe we are positioned for a successful Spring selling season, and we continue to feel very good about our progress at Citi Trends."