Although sales at Express during Thanksgiving week exceeded last year's, results did not meet the company’s expectations and it’s bracing itself for a tough holiday shopping season.
The specialty retail apparel chain operating approximately 630 stores reported net sales of $503 million, an increase of 7% from $468.5 million in the third quarter of 2012. Comparable sales increased 5% versus a decline of 5% in last year's third quarter. E-commerce sales increased 29% to $71.2 million this quarter, above last year's third quarter increase of 21%.
"We delivered a solid third quarter, in line with our guidance and highlighted by a 5% increase in comparable sales and 15% EPS growth,” said chairman and CEO Michael Weiss. “These results were achieved against the backdrop of an extremely challenging and promotional retail environment."
The retailer had been planning for a promotional holiday season but now anticipates the intensity of those promotions to reach heightened levels and is updating its full-year guidance accordingly.
“Our overarching goal is to continue presenting Express as a premier fashion authority for our demographic, and we believe that our current and go-forward assortments demonstrate that standing," added Weiss.