Neiman Marcus March same-store sales grew 3.4%

Neiman Marcus Group Inc. said Thursday that same-store sales rose 3.4% to $348 million in March from $336 million last March. Total sales, which include all stores, rose 2.2% to $350 million from $343 million last March.

Same-store sales at the company’s Neiman Marcus and Bergdorf Goodman stores rose 1.6% in March. The company said results were hurt by stores being closed on Easter Sunday, which occurred in March this year versus April last year. Neiman Marcus said sales also were depressed by its decision to shift loyalty program events that occurred in March last year into April this year.

The Dallas-based company said it experienced its strongest sales trends in stores located in the Western region. Its direct marketing segment, catalog and online sales, grew 12.6% as the Neiman Marcus brand posted growth in women’s apparel, women’s shoes, accessories, and jewelry.

The merchandise categories in the Specialty Retail Stores segment, which consists primarily of Neiman Marcus and Bergdorf Goodman stores, that performed well included women’s contemporary sportswear and designer apparel, fashion accessories, men’s shoes, beauty and designer jewelry.

The company said it expects comparable store revenues for the third quarter of fiscal 2005 to increase in the range of 5% to 6% compared to last year.