Tuesday Morning looks to strong holiday sales  

Dallas – Closeout chain Tuesday Morning reported its 33rd consecutive quarter of positive net earnings per share – although profits shrank – and also enjoyed “relatively consistent” year-over-year gross profit margins, the latter despite customers’ partiality during the first quarter for commodity items.

Kathleen Mason, president and ceo, said during the 813-store retailer’s first-quarter earnings call today  that Tuesday Morning noticed “a shift in consumer preferences to commodity items, which produced a lower profit margin the decorative category.”

But a recent cache of opportunistic buys on seasonal assortments has proved “pleasing.” The retailer was able to deliver this assortment a quarter earlier than last year, Mason said, giving Tuesday Morning reason to expect a healthy holiday selling period.

“We are pleased that this category is performing to plan,” she said. “We feel that due to our opportunistic inventory purchases we are well positioned for the upcoming holiday selling season. Based on our projections we expect our inventory position by December 31, both in total and on a per store basis, to be on plan.”

The company reported a decline of net income for the first quarter to $1.2 million, down 62.5% from $3.2 million for the same period one year ago. Sales grew 3.7% to $201.7 million from $194.4 last year, while comparable store sales fell 1.5%.

Gross profit of $125.9 million for the quarter, compared to $121.3 million a year ago, was steady at 62.4% of sales.

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