Claire's Stores, Inc. Reports March Same Store Sales Increase
3%; Increases Guidance for First Quarter
PEMBROKE PINES, FL., April 10, Claire's Stores, Inc. (NYSE:CLE) reported today
same store sales for the five weeks ended April 5, 2003 increased 3 percent
while total sales increased 9 percent to $90,800,000 compared with $83,551,000
reported for the same period last year.
Same store sales by brand for March 2003 were as follows:
-- Claire's Accessories North America: positive mid single digits
-- Claire's Accessories Europe: negative low single digits
-- Icing by Claire's: positive low single digits
"We expected same store sales comparisons to be positive
low single digits for Claire's North America and slightly negative for Claire's
Europe for the month of March due to the shift in Easter from March last year
to April this year. However, the performance for March came in ahead of plan
in terms of both sales and profitability. Our same store sales plan for April
is in the 11 to 13 percent range." said Bonnie Schaefer, Vice Chairman
"Due to the better than expected performance in March and
continued strong same store sales trends, we feel comfortable increasing our
earnings guidance to 21 cents, from 19 cents, per diluted share for the first
quarter of fiscal 2004. Our merchants have produced a strong spring presentation
in the stores and our customers are responding extremely well." said
Marla Schaefer, Vice Chairman of Claire's.
Claire's Store, Inc.
(Monthly Sales in 000's)
SAME STORE CHANGE
|Year to Date
Claire's Stores, Inc., is a leading international specialty
retailer offering value-priced costume jewelry and accessories to fashion-aware
tweens, teens and young adults through its two store concepts: Claire's Accessories
(North America and Europe) and Icing by Claire's. As of April 1, 2003, Claire's
Stores, Inc. operated approximately 2,800 stores in the United States, the
Caribbean, Puerto Rico, Canada, the United Kingdom, Ireland, Switzerland,
Austria, Germany and France. Claire's Stores, Inc. also operates through its
subsidiary Claire's Nippon, Co., Ltd., over 100 stores in Japan as a 50:50
joint venture with AEON, Co., Ltd. (fka JUSCO, Co. Ltd.).
This press release contains "forward-looking statements"
which represent the Company's expectations or beliefs with respect to future
events. These forward-looking statements are subject to certain risks and
uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially from those
anticipated. Those factors include, without limitation, changes in consumer
preferences and consumer spending for pre-teen and teen apparel and accessories,
competition, general economic conditions, uncertainties generally associated
with the specialty retailing business, potential difficulties or delays in
identifying, attracting and retaining qualified individuals to serve in senior
management positions and uncertainty that definitive financial results may
differ from preliminary financial results due to, among other things, final
GAAP adjustments. These and other applicable risks, cautionary statements
and factors that could cause actual results to differ from the Company's forward-looking
statements are included in the Company's filings with the SEC, specifically
as described in the Company's annual report on Form 10-K for the fiscal year
ended February 2, 2002. The Company undertakes no obligation to update or
revise any forward-looking statements to reflect subsequent events or circumstances.
The historical results contained in this press release are not necessarily
indicative of the future performance of the Company.
Note: Other Claire's Stores, Inc. press releases, a corporate
profile and most recent 10-K and 10-Q reports are available via Claire's Internet
home page: http://www.clairestores.com.
Contacts: Sonia Rohan, Vice President of Investor Relations
Fax: (212) 244-4237