J. Baker, Inc (Nasdaq:JBAK - news) today reported that total sales in its Casual Male Big & Tall, Repp Big & Tall, Work 'n Gear and Footwear divisions for the four weeks ended August 26, 2000 increased 6.6 per cent to $50m, compared to $47m for the four weeks ended August 28, 1999. Comparable store sales for the month of August increased 1.5 per cent.

Year-to-date sales for the seven months ended August 26, 2000 increased 18.7 per cent to $410m, compared to $345m for the same period last year. Comparable store sales for the seven-month period increased 2.7 per cent. The company's results for the month and year-to-date periods reflect the acquisition of substantially all of the assets of the Repp Big & Tall stores and the Repp By Mail catalog and e-commerce businesses in May 1999, as well as the business acquired from Shoe Corporation of America at the end of February 2000.


Comparable store sales increases by division were as follows:

                                          Month of August

Casual Male Big & Tall 1%
JBI Footwear 2%
Work `n Gear 3%


Alan I. Weinstein, president and Chief Executive Officer, said: 'During August, comparable store sales trends were sluggish in each of our businesses. As a result, we continue to be cautious about the retail environment.'

J. Baker operates retail businesses in large, under-served niche markets. The company operates 596 retail stores, three catalog titles and two commerce-enabled websites selling apparel and accessories for big and tall men under the Casual Male Big & Tall, Repp Ltd. Big & Tall and B&T Factory Stores trade names. The company offers rugged workwear and healthcare apparel through its 68 Work 'n Gear stores, plus direct marketing offerings and e-commerce initiatives. The company also operates approximately 1,240 licensed footwear departments in discount, department and specialty stores nationwide through its JBI Footwear and Morse Shoe divisions.