Friedman's Inc., a specialty retailer of fine jewelry, reported a 14.4% net sales increase for its first fiscal quarter ended Dec. 30, 2000. Sales increased from $151.4 million in the comparable quarter last year to a record $173.3 million. Net income for the company increased 16.9% to $17.3 million, up from $14.8 million the previous year. Comparable store sales increased in the first quarter by 5.5%, compared to a 6.2% increase last year.
"We are very pleased with our performance during the Christmas season," says President and CEO Bradley J. Stinn. "Friedman's delivered a retail jewelry industry leading comparable store sales increase, along with an expanded merchandising margin, during a very difficult and promotional retail environment." Friedman's also reported net sales for Crescent Jewelers increased 5.3% to $56.6 million for the quarter.
In related news, LVMH Moet Hennessy Louis Vuitton, the international luxury products group, reported its fourth quarter sales increased 31% this year and total sales for the year increased 35%. According to the company, strong growth was achieved in all the group's areas of activity and geographic zones. Watch and jewelry sales for the group were up as well. "Turnover in the watch and jewelry business group outperformed our target of 600 million Euros, thanks to the success of new products including Alter Ego by TAG Heuer, Mihewi by Chaumet as well as best sellers such as Beluga by Ebel and Chronomaster by Zenith," says Group Managing Director Myron Ullman. Watch and jewelry sales reached 187 million Euros for the quarter, up from 104 million Euros in the same quarter last year.
- by Julia M. Duncan