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Sharper Image Comparable Store Sales Increase 9%; Internet Sales Increase Fivefold.

SAN FRANCISCO--(BUSINESS WIRE)--July 6, 1999--

Sharper Image Corporation (NASDAQ/NMS:SHRP) today reported a sales increase of 14 percent for June over the prior year, driven by a nine percent increase in comparable store sales, and a 449 percent increase in Internet sales.

For June, total company sales of $20.9 million were 14 percent higher than the prior year's $18.3 million. Total store sales increased 14 percent, to $14.5 million from $12.7 million last year, driven by a nine percent increase in comparable store sales. Internet sales increased 449 percent to $1.6 million from last year's $296 thousand. Catalog sales decreased nine percent to $4.8 million from the prior year's $5.2 million.

Excluding the sales from the Home Collection catalog for the prior year, total company sales of $20.9 million were 23 percent higher than the prior year's pro forma sales of $17.0 million and catalog sales of $4.8 million were 20 percent higher than last year's $4.0 million. The Company decided in the prior year not to make further test mailings of The Sharper Image Home Collection catalog (featuring furniture and accessories).

"We are pleased with the continued growth in our retail stores, catalog and Internet operations. We are especially delighted by the continued strong growth of nine percent in our comparable store sales during June, generally a strong sales period with Father's Day and graduations.

"Additionally, we are achieving strong catalog sales growth, at the same time that our Internet sales continued to grow fivefold over the prior year," said Richard Thalheimer, founder, chairman, and chief executive officer. "We have demonstrated that Sharper Image Design proprietary products have broad customer appeal and are popular with consumers. These products represent an increasing proportion of our total sales.

"The fivefold increase in our Internet sales reflects the strong customer response to our Web site, sharperimage.com for both our online store and our Sharper Image Auction site," Thalheimer explained. "Our online auction, which is only accessible from the home page sharperimage.com, was launched in late February and in June we introduced our first series of Saturday one hour flash auctions." Thalheimer concluded, "We are pleased with the Company's sales momentum in all three main sales channels."

Year to date for the five months of fiscal 1999, total company sales increased eight percent to $80.2 million from last year's $74.1 million. Total store sales of $56.8 million were 12 percent higher than prior year's $50.5 million, with comparable store sales increasing eight percent. Internet sales increased 417 percent to $5.2 million from last year's $1.0 million. Catalog sales decreased 19 percent to $18.2 million from last year's $22.6 million.

Excluding sales from the Home Collection catalog for the prior year, total company sales of $80.2 million year to date were 18 percent higher than the prior year's pro forma sales of $68.1 million and catalog sales of $18.2 million were nine percent higher than last year's $16.6 million.

The Sharper Image is a specialty retailer that is nationally and internationally renowned as a leading source of new, innovative, high-quality products that make life easier and more enjoyable. A significant and growing proportion of sales are of proprietary products created by the Company's product development group, Sharper Image Design.

The Company operates 89 stores throughout the United States and mails millions of its award-winning catalogs each month. Additionally, the Company's products may be purchased on-line via its online store at sharperimage.com. The Company also has launched an auction site, where consumers can place a "bid to win" on Sharper Image products. The auction site can be accessed from the home page of the Company's Web site, sharperimage.com.

This release contains certain forward-looking statements regarding the Company's expected performance for future periods, and actual results for such periods may materially differ. Such forward-looking statements involve risks and uncertainties, including risks of changing market conditions in the overall economy and the retail industry, consumer demand, the opening of new stores, actual advertising expenditures by the Company, the success of the Company's advertising and merchandising strategy, availability of products, and other factors detailed from time to time in the Company's annual and other reports filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission.
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Publication:Business Wire
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Jul 6, 1999
Words:724
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