FINANCE

Second life for C. Wonder — with a celebrity stylist as pitchman

BY Marianne Wilson

Photo via Getty Images

New York — Specialty lifestyle retailer C. Wonder has new owners and a new strategy — one that will bring it directly into homes nationwide.

On Friday, Xcel Brands completed its $12.5 million acquisition of C. Wonder from Burch Acquisition LLC. Xcel also named appointed celebrity stylist Brad Goreski as creative director of the brand. Goreski, a colorful personality and a panelist on the E! channel’s “Fashion Police” show, will also serve as the on-air personality for the brand on QVC.

Xcel plans to launch the revamped C. Wonder on QVC in spring 2016. Categories will include apparel, accessories, footwear and jewelry; housewares, home decor and gifts are scheduled to launch on QVC at a later date. It will be the fourth Xcel-owned brand to be showcased on the interactive video and ecommerce retailer.

“This highly synergistic acquisition is a significant milestone for Xcel and will enhance our position as a leading brand development and media company,” said Robert W. D'Loren, chairman and CEO, Xcel, which owns the Isaac Mizrahi, Judith Ripka, H by Halston and H Halston brands. “Brad (Goreski) rounds out our fashion celebrity team. This gives us an opportunity to create a very powerful fashion and jewelry media line upon TV and in social media with Isaac Mizrahi, Cameron Silver, Brad Goreski and Judith Ripka."

The Xcel transaction included includes the C. Wonder and C. Wonder Limited trademarks and related designs and other intellectual property rights.”

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L Brands on a roll

BY Dan Berthiaume

Columbus, Ohio – L Brands Inc. continues its winning ways.

The retailer raised its second-quarter per-share earnings outlook as it posted reported better-than-expected same-store sales for July.

L Brands – whose banners include Victoria's Secret and Bath & Body Works – reported net sales of $2.76 billion for the second quarter of fiscal 2015, an increase of 3% compared to $2.67 billion for the same quarter a year earlier. Same-store sales rose 4%.

During July 2015, L Brands' net sales totaled $759.5 million, up 3% from $735.3 million the same month the prior year. Same-store sales increased 3%.

In addition, L Brands increased its second quarter earnings guidance of $0.66 to $0.68 per share from its previous guidance of $0.60 to $0.65 per share.

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Dropped products affect Conn’s Q2

BY Dan Berthiaume

The Woodlands, Texas – The decision to stop selling video game products, digital cameras, and certain tablets affected same-store sales at Conn’s Inc. during the second quarter and July fiscal 2016. However, Conn’s still reported total preliminary net retail sales of $325 million during the quarter, up 13% from the prior year period.

Same-store sales for the quarter rose 3.1%, but would have risen 6.7% without the impact of the dropped products. During July, total net retail sales climbed 13% from the same month a year earlier. Same-store sales grew 4%, but would have grown 8% without the impact of the dropped products.

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