Finlay Enterprises, Inc. said Thursday that comparable department sales for the two-month period including November and December increased 1.6 percent. The New York-based company had previously anticipated comparable store sales in the range of 3 to 4 percent for the period.
Total sales for the two-month period totaled $303.2 million compared to $385.2 million in the comparable period of 2005, as a result of the store closings in the first half of 2006. Specialty jewelry stores consisting of Carlyle and Congress contributed sales of $43.7 million for the two-month period as compared to $36.1 million in the same period last year.
Comparable department sales for the 11-month period ended Dec. 30, 2006, increased 2.3 percent, which excludes stores Finlay no longer operates as a result of the Federated/May merger and subsequent integration plans. Comparable department sales for the same period including discontinued stores increased 7.7 percent. Total sales for the 11 months totaled $879.5 million compared to $954 million in the first 11 months of 2005. Specialty jewelry stores contributed sales of $100.2 million for the 11-month period as compared to $66 million in the same period last year, as Carlyle was acquired in May 2005 and Congress in December 2006.
“Our holiday sales were lower than anticipated primarily due to the disappointing performance of our 236 former May Company doors, which was a result of a decrease in promotional activity versus the prior year,” said Arthur E. Reiner, Finlay chairman and chief executive officer. Therefore, we will lower our fourth quarter and full year outlook when we report fourth quarter sales on Feb. 8, 2007.
“Despite our overall results, we exceeded our planned comparable store sales increase in Bloomingdale’s and successfully opened two new doors in San Francisco and San Diego. In addition, our Carlyle division achieved solid growth and we are pleased to have completed the Congress acquisition last month. We will continue to focus on expanding the specialty store segment of our business throughout 2007.”
Finlay Enterprises, Inc., through its wholly-owned subsidiary, Finlay Fine Jewelry Corp., is one of the leading retailers of fine jewelry and the largest operator of licensed fine jewelry departments in department stores throughout the United States. The number of locations at the end of December 2006 totaled 824, including 34 Carlyle and five Congress specialty jewelry stores.