Strong 4Q for Claire's

European market drives same-store sales growth
Posted April 1, 2010

Fashion accessory and jewelry retailer Claire's Stores Inc. (Pembroke Pines, Fla.) reported net sales of $410.7 million for the 2009 fourth quarter ended January 30, a 4.5 percent increase compared to 2008. Quarterly same-store sales were also up, rising to $8 million. Consolidated same-store sales increased 2.1 percent in the 2009 fourth quarter. Breaking down those figures geographically, North America same store sales rose 1.2 percent while European same store sales grew 3.7 percent. (Claire’s computes same store sales on a local currency basis, which eliminates any impact from changes in foreign exchange rates.)

For fiscal 2009, net sales were $1,342.4 million, a decrease of $70.6 million compared to 2008. Consolidated same-store sales dropped 1.7 percent.

"As the year progressed, we began to see an improving sales trend and concluded the year with a fourth quarter same-store sales increase of 2.1 percent globally, with a positive result in both divisions across all brands,” says ceo Gene Kahn.

The company attributes a fashion-right merchandise assortment, improved in-store presentation, and an expanded and refreshed marketing effort, using compelling in-store imagery and new digital activity, as helping to drive sales. “In 2010, we will continue to pursue same store sales growth and plan to grow new stores globally, on both an owned and franchised basis, while simultaneously maintaining our strong financial disciplines,” says Kahn.

The specialty retailer of value-priced fashion accessories and jewelry serves girls and young women through its Claire's and Icing concepts. Claire's Stores Inc. operates 2948 stores in North America and Europe, as well as 195 franchise stores in the Middle East, Turkey, Russia, South Africa, Poland, Greece, Guatemala and Malta. Through its subsidiary, Claire's Nippon Co. Ltd., it has 211 stores in Japan as a 50:50 joint venture with AEON Co. Ltd.