Ramped up clearance activity sent profits down 23% to $22,967,000 from $30,014,000 in the first quarter ended Apr. 29 as revenues gained 1% to $691,102,000 from $681,267,000 but comp store sales still declined 3.0%. Gross margin plunged 180 basis points to 28.2%, 140 b.p. from merchandise margin and 40 b.p. from fulfillment costs. Ebuys contributed $22.3 million of revenue, but with a lower gross margin. After a slow start to the quarter, Apr. comps turned positive even after accounting for the Easter shift. Transactions increased low-single digits on higher traffic, but average dollar sale declined on lower AUR and UPT.
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