So the overall results, I think reflect some loose ends that we cleaned up and is particularly as we move into growth you will see a lot of investment in pre-opening. We’re opening 10 new stores and relocating four as you know, and our D-to-C number reflects the number of system bumps and some operating practice changes, but we’re back on track in May. Those are kind of a high level overview and now Sue will talk about the numbers. Sue.
Sue E. Gove
Okay. Thank you, Martin. Good morning everyone. For the first quarter of fiscal 2012, net revenues increased 11% to $90.5 million compared to $81.5 million in the first quarter of last year. Sales were driven primarily by the five new store openings since the end of the first quarter of last year, as well as the comparable store increase at 8.5% partially offset by a 4.7% decrease in net revenues from the direct-to-consumer channel.
We saw sales improve with more favorable weather conditions and we benefited from targeted marketing initiative as well as strong store openings. Our average transaction grew 4%, reflecting the improvement we made to our merchandize assortment, our continued focus on improving our selling culture, with key metrics.
Gross profit increased 10.5% to $30.3 million compared to $27.4 million in the first quarter of last year. Gross margin was 33.5% as compared to 33.6% for the same period last year. This 10 basis point decline in gross margin was primarily due to decline in merchandize margins with a sales mix shift towards lower margin product compared to last year as well as the impact of major clearance on apparels, which were launched immediately following the holiday shopping season.
SG&A expense increased to $33.6 million in the first quarter, compared to $30.5 million in the same quarter last year. As a percentage of net revenue SG&A was 37.2% in the current quarter compared to 37.4% in the prior year. The increase in dollars relates primarily to the five new store openings, three of which opened in the current fiscal year. Two store relocation’s and an increase in credit card fees driven by increases in sales over the prior year.
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