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Birks and Mayors says mid-year sales are down

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Same-store sales for Birks and Mayors fell 19 per cent in the first 26 weeks of 2009 over the same period last year.

Birks and Mayors recorded a 19 per cent downturn in same-store sales for the 26 weeks ending Sept. 26 compared to the same period last year.

In its six-month fiscal report, the jewellery retailer says its net sales decreased 23.5 per cent from $133.6 million to $102.2 million compared to 2008 figures. The dip in net sales included $6.2 million in lower sales that reflected a foreign currency translation of the company’s operations into U.S. dollars.

Birks and Mayors operates 67 luxury stores in Canada, Florida, and Georgia. The Montreal-based company says the downturn is due to slower store traffic across its locations and a decrease in the average sale transaction at its U.S. stores.

“Significant cost and inventory reduction programs initiated in the prior year were able to partially offset some of the significant declines in sales and margin during the period,” said company president and chief executive officer Tom Andruskevich.

“As we enter the extremely important holiday season, we will continue to carefully manage the level and productivity of our inventory, reducing our operating costs wherever possible, and limiting capital expenditures, all with the focus of optimizing cash flow.”

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