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Harold's average sales per customer soar in Q3

29
Nov '07
Harold's Stores Inc announced operating results for the third quarter and year-to-date periods ended November 3, 2007.

For the third quarter, the Company reported a net loss of $140,000, or $(0.10) per share, compared to a net loss of $2.1 million, or $(0.41) per share in the comparable period of the previous year. Third quarter 2007 results include a $1.3 million one-time gain from the sale of a building.

During the year-to-date period ending November 3, 2007, the net loss was $5.4 million, or $(1.11) per diluted and basic share, compared to a net loss of $8.1 million, or $(1.49) per diluted and basic share, in the comparable period of the prior year.

"Although sales during the third quarter were much weaker than anticipated, the combination of reduced purchase levels and what we believe to be improved merchandise content resulted in higher gross margin dollars for the quarter. Store traffic was down over the prior year during the quarter, but the average sales per customer increased.

In addition, selling, general and administrative expenses declined both in the aggregate and as a percentage of sales despite the sales declines. This can be attributed to the expense restructuring efforts undertaken last quarter," said Ron Staffieri, Chief Executive Officer.

For the quarter, overall sales were $21.5 million, compared with $23.3 million for the same period in the previous year, a decrease of 7.8%. Total comparable store sales were down 11.5%, declining 10.7% in the full-price retail stores and 31.1% in the outlets. Direct sales (internet and catalog) were $1.3 million, up 21.7% compared with last year's level of $1.1 million.


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