Harry & David sees revenue drop 11.6%

Harry & David Holdings' fiscal third-quarter losses widened as revenue slumped 11.6 percent.

The Medford-based gourmet food and gift company, whose biggest sales volume occurs around Christmas, saw sales slip to $66.2 million for the quarter ending March 27, compared to $74.9 million for the same period in 2009. Its net loss for the quarter was $28 million, a 54 percent increase over its $18.2 million loss in the same quarter of 2009.

"We have continued to improve our cash position during a still challenging retail environment by better management of our inventories, reducing expenses and tighter control of capital spending," Steven Heyer, chairman and chief executive officer, said in a statement. "We remain focused on our primary mission of delivering high-quality products to our customers for any occasion as we strive to be known for helping people deliver happiness."

The company said it reduced inventory 25 percent to $30.9 million as it positions itself for what have historically been its leanest sales seasons. Through three quarters, Harry & David's loss was $18 million, compared with a restated $3.2 million loss through a similar period in fiscal 2009.

All three of the company's operating areas suffered losses. The company's direct marketing sales fell 12.9 percent to $41.6 million during the quarter. Harry and David stores saw a 7.2 percent drop in sales to $18.5 million, a decline that was attributed to lower traffic in existing stores and fewer stores. The company has reduced its store count from 141 to 126. Wholesale revenue dipped 14.6 percent to $6.2 million.

Harry & David, a privately held company whose stock is controlled by Wasserstein & Co., files its quarterly earnings statement with the Securities & Exchange Commission because its bonds are traded.

Harry & David experienced a series of executive and management changes during the quarter, but generally did not comment on any of the moves.

Wasserstein's board sacked former chief executive officer Bill Williams following the second-quarter earnings announcement. The company said Wednesday it has discontinued conference calls with analysts.

Telephone calls seeking further comment were not returned. A receptionist at Heyer's Medford office said he was out of town.

Reach reporter Greg Stiles at 541-776-4463 or e-mail business@mailtribune.com.

Share This Story