Jane Singer – Investor Relations
The Children’s Place Retail Stores, Inc. (PLCE) June 2008 Sales Call July 10, 2008 7:30 AM ET
This is Jane Singer for The Children’s Place Retail Stores, Inc. Welcome to our prerecorded sales call for June 2008.
I would like to remind participants that any forward-looking remarks made today are subject to the Safe Harbor statement found in this morning’s press release. The company undertakes no obligation to publically release any revisions to these forward-looking statements to reflect events or circumstances after the date hereof.
For the five weeks ended July 5, 2008, The Children’s Place Retail Stores, Inc., reported total sales of $123 million, a 23% increase over last year sales of $99.7 million. June comparable store sales increased 16% compared to a 4% decrease last year. Comps were positive every week of the month. Week 2, the week that our semi-annual Monster sale started, was the strongest. Week 5 was the weakest, as we did not anniversary the Fourth of July promotion from last year.
Year-to-date, total sales for 2008 were $632. 6 million, a 16% increase over the same period last year. Year-to-date, comparable store sales increased 8% on top of a 2% increase in the same period last year. During the month, we closed two stores, so as of July 5, 2008, we owned and operated a total of 903 stores.
Our 16% comp for June reflects a 7% increase in transactions and a 9% increase in average transaction size. Average retail units per transaction and traffic were all positive for the month. Outlets comp’d in the positive mid 20s, largely driven by sales of spring merchandise. Mall stores comp’d in the low double digits. E-commerce sales continued to show strong growth during the month, increasing approximately 80% compared to last year.
All regions comp’d positive, led by 20 to 30% comps in metro New York, the Northeast, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania. All departments comp’d positive for the month. Boys were strongest with a comp in the low 20s, girls and accessories comp’d in the low teens, newborn comp’d in the low single digits.
The full Fall One line sets today, five days earlier than last year. This year’s assortment contains more wear now merchandise including shorts, skorts, short-sleeve products, and light-weight sweaters. Fall Two will set August 5, just prior to the peak back-to-school shopping weeks.
Marketing efforts to support the back-to school line include a high-impact campaign that will hit the newsstands mid-July and two direct mailings. A 16-page magalogue being mailed to customers this week has a circulation of 3.3 million, compared to a 4.4 million circulation last year. A second magalogue targeting new customers and high-value prospects will mail in early August. This represents a strategic shift to move the bulk of our direct mail efforts closer to the prime back-to-school shopping weeks.
Thank you for your interest in The Children’s Place. Our next monthly call will be held on Thursday, August 7, 2008, when we will review sales results for the month of July.