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Merchandise margins improve at dELiA*s Retail

May '08
dELiA*s Inc, a direct marketing and retail company comprised of three lifestyle brands primarily targeting consumers between the ages of 12 and 19, announced financial results for the first quarter ended May 3, 2008.

For the thirteen weeks ended May 3, 2008, total revenues increased 10% to $63.5 million from the same period last year. Total gross margin was 34.5% of sales as compared to 36.1% in the first quarter of last year, as the improved merchandise margins at dELiA*s Retail and dELiA*s Direct were more than offset by the increase in retail occupancy costs as a percentage of sales and increased shipping costs in the direct segment.

Selling, general and administrative expenses decreased as a percentage of sales to 40.4% in the first quarter of 2008, compared to 42.1% of sales in the comparable quarter of 2007, but increased by 5.5% in dollars to $25.7 million versus $24.3 million last year. Net loss for the quarter was $3.9 million or $0.13 per diluted share as compared to a net loss of $3.3 million or $0.11 per diluted share in last year's first quarter.

Robert Bernard, Chief Executive Officer, commented, "Given the substantial progress we are making in improving our operating capabilities, we are pleased that we ended the quarter on a decidedly positive note, with retail comps in the mid-teens in April. We significantly improved retail merchandise margins over last year, and we continued to invest in building solid foundations in product development, planning and store training."

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