FINANCE

Destination XL swings to Q1 loss; promotes exec to CFO

BY Dan Berthiaume

Canton, Mass. – The costs of converting its Casual Male XL banner to the DXL banner helped Destination XL swing to a net loss in the first quarter of fiscal 2014. The retailer reported a net loss of $3.5 million, compared to net income of $1 million last year.

For the quarter, total sales were $96.8 million, up 3% from $94 million in the first quarter of fiscal 2013. The increase in total sales was primarily due to an increase in same-store sales of 3.4%

"We started the fiscal year off strong, driven by a solid performance at our Destination XL stores in the first quarter of 2014," said president and CEO David Levin. "Although the severe winter weather impacted business in February and March, sales rebounded in April and more than offset weakness early in the quarter as we reported a 3.4% overall comparable sales increase. This positive momentum has continued in May. Our DXL stores continue to perform very well, delivering a 12.8% comparable sales increase during what was a difficult quarter in the retail sector. We have now reported four consecutive quarters of double-digit comparable sales growth at DXL stores."

In addition, Peter H. Stratton, Jr., 42, has been appointed to the position of senior VP, CFO and treasurer, effective June 1. Stratton replaces John E. Kyees, who was serving as interim CFO. Stratton has been serving as Destination XL’s senior VP of finance, corporate controller, and chief accounting officer since September 2009.

He joined the company in June 2009 as VP of finance.

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FINANCE

Delia’s CFO announces resignation; retailer posts disappointing first quarter

BY Marianne Wilson

New York — Teen retailer Delia’s announced that its CFO, David Dick, has resigned. He will remain with the company through Aug. 1.

“I want to thank Dave for his hard work and dedication to Delia’s throughout the last six years,” said CEO Tracy Gardner. “He was actively involved in helping the company navigate a number of challenges and was instrumental in securing recent financing that is central to the execution of Delia’s’ strategy going forward. On behalf of the entire company, I wish him well in his future endeavors.”

Dick’s resignation coincided with the company’s first-quarter results, which continued on a downward slide. Total revenue decreased 26.3% to $25.9 million, from $35.2 million in the first quarter of fiscal 2013. Comparable sales, including comparable store sales and direct-to-consumer sales, fell 24.7%, primarily driven by reduced website and mall traffic.

In addition, catalog circulation for the quarter decreased 15.2%, compared to the prior year quarter predominantly due to a reduction in unprofitable circulation.

Gardner struck an upbeat note and said she was encouraged by the chain’s first quarter progress in what continues to be a challenging macro retail environment.

“While our total revenues decreased 26% in the first quarter, our comparable store performance was down 21% and sequentially improved each month of the quarter,” said Gardner. “Our merchandise margin rates, inclusive of obsolescence, were rebuilt to the highest level we have seen in the last six quarters as we delivered merchandise margin dollars that were only down 13% on a comparable store basis. This improvement in merchandise margin levels is an important first step that we would expect to see at this point in our turnaround.”

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MARKETING/SOCIAL MEDIA

Jamba Juice launches YouTube promotion

BY Dan Berthiaume

Emeryville, Calif. – Jamba, Inc., parent company of Jamba Juice, is partnering with DanceOn, a YouTube network exclusively dedicated to dance entertainment, to execute a digital campaign to inspire customers to participate in the "Blend in the Good" summer dance video contest. From now until Aug. 31, the online contest will encourage dance enthusiasts to submit unique videos.

One winner will be selected each month to receive a trip for two to a dance experience, as well as have their winning video featured and promoted across the DanceOn and Jamba Juice networks. Each winner will also receive a $100 Jamba Juice gift card. The partnership will also include a special Jamba Juice appearance in an upcoming episode of DanceOn’s celebrity docu-series, The Edge.

"DanceOn and Jamba Juice both have a core fan base of people who like to have fun and are motivated by healthy living – that alone makes this partnership a perfect one," said Julie S. Washington, senior VP and chief brand officer of Jamba Juice. "We’re looking forward to tapping into the passionate dancers on YouTube and their engaged online communities. Through original programming like The Edge, as well as a co-branded competition driving user-generated content, Jamba Juice will be a part of conversations that matter to them."

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