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Wilsons The Leather Experts Jan same-store sales down 12.7%

02
Feb '06
Specialty retailer of leather outerwear, accessories and apparel Wilsons The Leather Experts Inc has reported that sales for the four weeks ended January 28, 2006 decreased 10.2 percent to $27.4 million as compared to $30.5 million for the four weeks ended January 29, 2005.

Year-to-date sales decreased 9.8 percent to $398.0 million compared to $441.1 million for the same period last year. Sales for the prior year-to-date period included approximately $20.8 million in liquidation sales resulting from the transfer of inventory to an independent liquidator.

Comparable store sales decreased 12.7 percent for the four weeks ended January 28, 2006; this decrease compares to a 1.1 percent decrease in comparable store sales for the four weeks ended January 29, 2005.

Year-to-date comparable store sales decreased 2.9 percent compared to an increase of 0.6 percent in the same period last year. Comparable store sales for the prior year-to-date period do not include sales from stores that were liquidated.

Michael Searles, CEO said, "Our comparable store sales results were softer than expected. Reduced traffic in our stores continued to have a negative impact on sales during the month. Our handbag sales were up 13.5% over last year; however, they did not offset the decrease in other accessory and apparel sales. While our sales performance was disappointing, our gross margin rates for the month came in higher than planned and exceeded last year."

Wilsons Leather Inc is the leading specialty retailer of leather outerwear, accessories and apparel in the United States.

As of January 28, 2006, it operated 422 stores located in 45 states, including 298 mall stores, 110 outlet stores and 14 airport stores. It has traditionally supplemented its permanent mall stores with seasonal stores during its peak selling season from October through January.

Wilsons The Leather Experts Inc


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