Retail Weakness Seen In Quarterly Reports

By Steve Smith On Aug 6 2012 - 4:01am




NEW YORK – Recent released quarterly reports show weakness at retail from publicly held chains.

Even Amazon, which had double-digit CE sales gains in the second quarter, posted scant profits in the quarter due to an acquisition and further investments in building more warehousing facilities nationwide to possibly provide same day product deliveries.

Amazon.com net income dropped 96 percent in the second quarter while sales rose 29 percent.

Net income was $7 million in the quarter, compared with $191 million in second quarter 2011. The reduced income was due to the $65 million estimated net loss related to the acquisition and integration of Kiva Systems, Amazon said.

Net sales increased to $12.83 billion in the second quarter, compared with $9.91 billion in second quarter 2011. Excluding the $272 million unfavorable impact from year-over-year changes in foreign exchange rates throughout the quarter, net sales would have grown 32 percent compared with second quarter 2011, the online retailer said.

Worldwide electronics and other general merchandise sales grew 38 percent to $8.16 billion. Excluding the unfavorable impact from year-over-year changes in foreign exchange rates throughout the quarter, sales grew 42 percent.

North America segment sales, representing the company’s U.S. and Canadian sites were $7.33 billion, up 36 percent from second quarter 2011

OfficeMax turned a profit in its fiscal second quarter, ended June 30, but reported lower sales in its retail operation.

Net income was $10.7 million, compared with a net loss of $3 million a year before. Total sales were $1.6 billion, a decrease of 2.7 percent from the second quarter of 2011.

Retail segment sales decreased 5.7 percent to $723.6 million in the quarter compared with the prior year, reflecting a same-store sales decrease of 1.8 percent, due to unfavorable foreign currency translation and reduced store transactions. Retail segment income was also lower — $2.8 million in the quarter — compared with $8 million a year ago.

RadioShack posted a net loss of $21 million for the second quarter after generating year-ago profits of nearly $25 million.

Sales for the three months, ended June 30, edged up 1.2 percent to $953.2 million, and comp-store sales were essentially flat.

Consumer electronics sales fell nearly 27 percent, and “signature” sector sales, comprised of accessories and headphones, were flat.

Systemax reported second-quarter sales were down 2.6 percent to $849.5 million while the net loss was $2.24 million, compared with a profit of $15.6 million for the prior year’s second quarter, due to the performance of the North American consumer business.

Consumer channel sales dropped 15.3 percent to $329 million and, on a same-store basis, sales declined 15.1 percent.

Richard Leeds, chairman/CEO, commented that the North American consumer business had “a low doubledigit reduction in top-line sales as the consumer electronics industry recorded double-digit declines across several key product categories.” Among the reasons were “soft demand” and “shifting consumer habits.”

By product category, computer sales were down 2 percent; computer accessories and software were down 5 percent; CE was down 14 percent; industrial products were up 31 percent; and computer components were down 7 percent, Systemax said.

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