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Wet Seal shrinks net loss in Q4

BY Dan Berthiaume

Foothill Ranch, Calif. – The Wet Seal Inc. shrank its net loss to $27.5 million during the fourth quarter of fiscal 2013 from $85.8 million in the same quarter a year earlier. Net sales slipped 23% to $124.8 million from $161.6 million and same-store sales dropped 16%.

The Wet Seal cited the extra week in fiscal 2012 as negatively impacting its fiscal 2013 results. In addition, CEO John D. Goodman said the company will focus on social, digital and e-commerce, as well as on product, merchandising and customer engagement initiatives, and on the plus-size segment.

“Although we concluded fiscal 2013 with a difficult fourth quarter, we made substantial progress during the year against our turnaround strategies, which provides a strong foundation for the business,” said Goodman.

During the full fiscal year, The Wet Seal reported a net loss of $38.4 million, compared to $113.2 million in the prior fiscal year. Net sales dropped 9% to $530.1 million from $580.4 million and same-store sales declined 4.1%.

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New York & Company grows net income in Q4, moves HQ

BY Dan Berthiaume

New York – New York & Company grew its net income during the fourth quarter of fiscal 2013 11% to $6.9 million, from $6.2 million. Net sales fell 7% to $271 million from $291.8 million and same-store sales climbed 1.2%.

New York & Company attributed its improved net income to expense controls and increased merchandise margin. The company also cited the 53rd week in fiscal 2012 as affecting its negative net sales growth.

In addition, in advance of the expiration of its existing headquarters lease, the company signed a 16-year lease to relocate its corporate headquarters. New York & Company plans to occupy approximately 180,000 rentable sq. ft. of space in 330 West 34th Street in New York City by the end of 2014. Vornado Realty Trust is in the process of completing a full renovation of the building. Planning and design of the new headquarters site is already underway

During the full fiscal year, the retailer swung to a net profit of $2.4 million from a net loss of $2.2 million in the preceding fiscal year. Net sales dropped 3% to $939.2 million, from $966.4 million. Same-store sales rose 1.1%.

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Britian’s Arcadia Group selects Oracle Retail platform

BY Dan Berthiaume

London – British fashion retailer Arcadia Group, whose banners include Topshop and Topman, has chosen Oracle Retail Merchandising Operations Management, Oracle Retail Merchandise Planning and Optimization, and Oracle Commerce applications to create a platform to help optimize retail operations and support its developing international business. Arcadia will use Oracle Retail applications to improve core merchandising and supply operations and enable the business to better meet customer demand in its 2,507 owned stores and 600 international franchised outlets across 36 countries.

In particular, Arcadia expects to improve the customer experience with the creation of more accurate profiles of size distribution based on individual stores, rather than at a country level, to better align assortment with customer demand. The retailer also plans to use Oracle Retail Merchandising Analytics to gain additional insight into critical performance indicators that track sales, profit, inventory and supplier performance to further optimize operations.

Arcadia expects that the creation of international distribution hubs to enhance the global supply chain will bring additional operational efficiencies, promoting a more streamlined distribution network for owned stores and franchise partners and maximizing availability of inventory.

Arcadia has also selected Oracle Database technologies to underpin the Oracle Retail applications. The implementation of the Oracle Retail platform is part of a larger business strategy focused on delivering efficiencies and reducing IT costs throughout Arcadia Group’s brand portfolio of BHS, Burton, Dorothy Perkins, Evans, Miss Selfridge, Outfit, Topshop, Topman and Wallis.

“Our brands are committed to delivering an interactive, exciting and efficient shopping experience to all our customers around the world, no matter which channel they choose to use to visit us, from flagship stores to mobile devices,” said Sir Philip Green, owner of Arcadia Group. “Global expansion is a key strategic focus for Arcadia, and to do this successfully, we need to make sure the best merchandise assortment is available in each store and channel. We expect Oracle to help us enhance our merchandising strategies to help ensure that we deliver the best possible customer promise every time.”

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