By Michelle Graff
New York--Three jewelry-selling retailers that reported their financials Thursday did not record strong increases in sales in the fourth quarter, despite the fact that it is generally the most wonderful time of the year for retailers.

HSN reported a 2 percent increase in fourth quarter sales, with jewelry cited as one of the weaker performers, while Walmart’s U.S. quarterly comps were flat and Nordstrom saw same-store sales increase 3 percent.

Below are highlights from the fourth quarter and full-year financial statements from these three companies.

HSN Inc.
HSN Inc., parent company of multi-media retailer HSN, reported Thursday that HSN’s sales for the three months ended Dec. 31 totaled $697.4 million compared with $683.8 million in the prior-year period, a 2 percent increase. 

Jewelry sales were slow while revenue grew in the health, beauty, and apparel and accessories categories.

Digital sales were up 7 percent. HSN’s gross profit increased 3 percent to $230.6 million during the quarter. 

Full-year sales for HSN were up 2 percent, from $2.27 billion in 2012 to $2.31 billion in 2013. Gross profit increased 1 percent for the year to $796.7 million.

As a whole, HSN Inc. reported a 4 percent increase in sales for the full year, from $3.27 billion in 2012 to $3.4 billion in 2013.

In commenting on the company as a whole CEO Mindy Grossman said, “Throughout 2013, we successfully managed the company to position us for long-term growth. We kept our focus on the customer, emphasized our unique content and proprietary products, strengthened our digital platform, further leveraged opportunities and synergies across the HSN and Cornerstone brands and returned value to our shareholders by delivering nearly $200 million through share repurchases and cash dividends.”

Walmart Stores Inc. reported a 0.4 percent decline in same-store sales (excluding fuel) in the U.S. in the fourth quarter ended Jan. 31. Full-year comps were also down, declining by 0.6 percent.

Total sales reached $76.43 billion during the three-month period, a 2 percent increase from the $74.64 billion reported in the prior-year period. Sales for the fiscal year increased 2 percent to $279.41 billion.

At Sam’s Club, same-store sales (without fuel) during the quarter were down 0.1 percent, while the full year saw a 0.7 percent increase in comps. Total sales for the year were up 1 percent to $57.16 billion.

Operating income for Walmart’s U.S. stores during the fourth quarter was essentially flat, increasing 0.1 percent to $6.38 billion but rose 4 percent for the year to $22.35 billion.

“For fiscal 2015, the Walmart U.S. team is focusing on growth and returning to positive comps,” said Bill Simon, Walmart U.S. president and CEO. “To get there, we will drive additional improvements in price investment and merchandise, test our market ecosystem and pilot our tethering concept.”

He added that comps were down in the first two weeks of February due to continued severe winter storms. During the worst of it, Walmart had more than 200 stores across the country closed. Walmart U.S. said that it expects comps to be relatively flat for the 12-week period ending May 2.

The company also announced that it is significantly accelerating its capital plan for U.S. small store format openings for the current fiscal year. Walmart now expects to add approximately 270 to 300 small stores during the fiscal year, doubling the initial forecast of 120 to 150 stores.

Same-store sales for Nordstrom Inc. were up 3 percent in the fourth quarter ended Feb. 1. Total sales for the period were basically flat at $3.6 billion.

The company identified the strongest categories for the period as cosmetics, accessories, men’s shoes and women’s apparel.

Full-year sales reached $12.17 billion, up from the $11.76 billion recorded in the year earlier, a 3 percent increase.

For fiscal 2014, Nordstrom said that it anticipates same-store sales to increase in the range of 2 to 4 percent, and for total sales to increase between 6 and 8 percent.

Nordstrom currently operates 260 stores in 35 states, including 117 full-line stores, 140 Nordstrom Racks, two Jeffrey boutiques and one clearance store. Nordstrom also reaches customers through and in the online private sale marketplace, HauteLook. 

Get the Daily News >
National Jeweler

Fine Jewelry Industry News

Since 1906, National Jeweler has been the must-read news source for smart jewelry professionals--jewelry retailers, designers, buyers, manufacturers, and suppliers. From market analysis to emerging jewelry trends, we cover the important industry topics vital to the everyday success of jewelry professionals worldwide. National Jeweler delivers the most urgent jewelry news necessary for running your day-to-day jewelry business here, and via our daily e-newsletter, website and other specialty publications, such as "The State of the Majors." National Jeweler is published by Jewelers of America, the leading nonprofit jewelry association in the United States.