Leather outerwear, apparel and accessories retailer Wilsons The Leather Experts Inc on Tuesday said net sales for the second quarter decreased 5.1 per cent to $89.4 million, compared to $94.2 million in the year-ago quarter, on lower sales at its travel stores.

Same store sales, which include the travel stores, were down 6.5 per cent during the quarter. Comparable store sales for the Wilsons Leather stores rose 1.9 per cent for the most recent quarter and the travel stores declined 21.9 per cent.

The Minneapolis-based company reported a second quarter net loss, before the cumulative effect of an accounting change, of $27.0 million versus a net loss of $22.8 million a year ago. Net loss after this change was $51.6 million.

Net sales for the six months ended 3 August 2002 decreased 1.4 per cent to $208.6 million compared to $211.6 million for the comparable period of 2001. Comparable store sales for the period decreased 8.6 per cent. Same store sales at Wilsons Leather for the six-month period decreased 4.5 per cent.

The net loss for the current six-month period, excluding the cumulative effect of an accounting change, was $41.7 million, versus a net loss of $26.5 million in the comparable period from last year. Net loss after the cumulative effect of this accounting change was $66.3 million.

For the remainder of the fiscal year, ending 1 February 2003, Wilsons Leather expects to report sales and earnings in the range of $775-785 million and $0.51 to $0.56 per share, before the cumulative effect of an accounting change related to goodwill.