Charney says "comparable store sales" are up 3 percent. At most retail chains that metric measures sales only in stores that were open for more than a year. It helps investors see whether individual locations are adding sales or whether the company is merely opening new locations with lower average sales. It's a measure of retail "heat," in other words.
But in July, Charney announced he was redefining "comparable store sales" to a "combination of sales for its comparable stores and online channel." That smushes together two entirely different sales channels and makes it more difficult to figure out how the stores on their own are doing.
Wholesale: $40.9 million
Retail: $83.7 million
Online: $8 million
Total: $134 million
Wholesale: ? "increased 10%"
Total: $141 million "increased 5%"
That assumes that there was a zero increase in online sales, which is unlikely given online sales were up 23 percent in Q2 2011. Retail sales are therefore probably added less than $2.9 million in new sales.
Charney adds in the statement that numbers for both stores and online are positive, but he doesn't say how positive. Could it be that despite closing 31 of 278 stores over the last year, Charney's remaining store sales are still all but flat? We'll find out when the 10-Q is filed in due course.
Bonus points: If you noticed that American Apparel only started adding total sales after Charney lost a majority of his company's stock and new management was installed around him. What an amazing coincidence!
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