Eddie Bauer Holdings, Inc. reported total revenues slipped to $213.2 million from $214.0 million a year ago while comps inched up 0.5%. Comparable retail stores sales increased 2.9% on top of a 16.4% gain in last year's first quarter, while comparable outlet store sales declined by 3.1% compared to a 0.3% increase in the prior year quarter. Sales from the company's direct channel, which includes its catalogs and website, increased 0.3% on top of a 16.3% increase the prior year.
Gross margin for the quarter eroded to 27.6%, compared to 29.3% for the year-ago period, due primarily to markdowns on higher levels of clearance inventory. Net losses were reduced to $19.3 million, or 63 cents a share, from $44.8 million, or $1.47, a year ago.