Pembroke Pines, Fla. Claire’s Stores blamed a decline in same-store sales and the negative impact of foreign currency exchange rates for a drop in both fourth quarter and fiscal 2008 earnings.
Claire’s reported net sales of $393.0 million for the fiscal fourth quarter, ended Jan. 31, a 12.2% drop from the same period in 2007. Same-store sales also declined 7.2% for the quarter.
The company announced similar drops for the fiscal year. Net sales slid 6.5% to $1.4 billion, from $1.5 billion in fiscal 2007. Same-store sales also decreased 6.9%.
The chain followed through on its lease renewal and rent-reduction program, and closed 118 stores in North America by the end of the year. The program is a component of a broader, ongoing real estate plan to better control occupancy costs globally, according to a company statement. At the end of the fiscal year, the chain operated 2,969 stores in North America and Europe.
Claire’s also reported its plans to reduce its 2009 capital expenditures to approximately $25 million.