Saks Incorporated net sales declined 8.7% to $227.2 million for the month of May from $248.9 million last year. Comparable store sales decreased 8.7% for the period.
On a year-to-date basis, for the four months ended May 31, 2008, owned sales totaled $1,080.6 million compared to $1,034.5 million for the prior year four month period ended June 2, 2007, a 4.5% increase. Comparable store sales increased 4.3% for the four-month period.
Sales performance for May was negatively affected by the acceleration of a spring season clearance event into the last week of April this year from the first week of May last year. For the two months combined, comparable store sales increased 8.6%.
For May, the strongest categories at Saks Fifth Avenue were mens contemporary apparel, shoes, and accessories; jewelry; and cosmetics and fragrances. The weakest categories at Saks Fifth Avenue for May were womens classic, modern, and petite apparel. Saks Direct and Saks Off 5th performed well for the month.
For the second fiscal quarter in the aggregate, management expects low single digit comparable store sales growth, modestly reduced year-over-year promotional activity, and modest year-over-year improvement in the gross margin rate.