Lands’ End starts year on strong note
Specialty lifestyle retailer Lands’ End showed momentum in its first quarter, narrowing its loss and posting sales above expectations.
Lands’ End reported a net loss of $2.6 million, or 8 cents a share, for the period ended May 4, compared with a loss of $7.8 million, or 24 cents a share, in the year-ago period. The average per-share loss estimate of analysts was 17 cents.
Revenue rose 12% to $299.8 million, above the estimate of $285.0 million. Retail segment revenue declined 34% to $26.5 million, primarily due to there being few Lands’ End in-store shops at Sears stores. Same-store sales declined 18.9%.
In May, Lands’ End unveiled its updated store format, the first of four to six new locations the retailer is scheduled to open in 2018. The company, which has said it is not relying on Sears for future growth, reportedly plans to open between 40 to 60 locations during the next five years.
“Our first quarter results represent the fourth straight quarter of top line growth and third quarter of profitability growth, demonstrating the continued progress we have made across our strategic initiatives,” said Jerome S. Griffith, CEO and president. “We saw excellent growth in our uniform business with the successful launch of our Delta Airline business.”
Looking ahead, Griffith said, data analytics will remain “the driving force behind everything we do as a customer-centric organization.”
“As we further refine our product assortment, advance our digitally driven efforts, enhance our distribution network, and further elevate our infrastructure to support the business, we remain well positioned to achieve our long-term objectives,” he said.
Nine West Holdings sells its footwear brands
Nine West Holdings has sold its namesake and Bandolino businesses to Authentic Brand Group.
ABG bought the intellectual property of the two businesses on Monday at a bankruptcy auction for $340 million. Nine West Holdings filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in April, with a plan to sell the two brands to ABG as part of its reorganization plan. ABG’s winning bid is over $140 million more than its initial stalking horse bid.
“This was a highly competitive bidding process, which is a testament to the strength of these brands and we are thrilled that the outcome had ABG taking ownership of Nine West and Bandolino,” said Jamie Salter, chairman and CEO of ABG. “The addition of these two brands enhances ABG’s growing lifestyle portfolio, while launching our global footwear platform. We see incredible opportunity to expand the brands beyond footwear and handbags, specifically in the apparel and home categories as well as in new markets around the world.”
As part of the transaction, ABG assumes all licensing partnerships and marketing initiatives for the Nine West and Bandolino brands. The company appointed Marc Fisher Footwear to operate the footwear businesses.
“We are excited to expand our partnership with ABG and to help drive the global success of Nine West and Bandolino,” said Marc Fisher, founder and CEO, Marc Fisher Footwear. “As my father co-founded Nine West and Bandolino, I spent much of my footwear career working on these two brands. I am thrilled to have the opportunity to build great product that will resonate strongly with consumers and reinvigorate these brands in the marketplace.”
Nine West Holdings plans to revamp its capital structure around its profitable businesses, including Anne Klein, Kasper Group, The Jewelry Group and One Jeanswear Group. The company plans to exit bankruptcy court proceedings around September.
“Authentic Brands Group is an industry leader and we are pleased that they will bring the dedicated expertise and resources to manage the next stage in the life of two strong brands,” said Ralph Schipani, CEO of Nine West Holdings. “We are pleased to have completed this important step in our restructuring and are now focused on moving forward with the reorganization of our remaining businesses with the support of our key stakeholder groups.”
The sale, which is subject to approval by the Bankruptcy Court, is expected to be complete by July 15, 2018.
Rent-A-Center gets increased acquisition offer
An interested party has upped the ante for Rent-A-Center.
Hours after the company announced it had ended its strategic and financial alternatives review and concluded a sale was not in its best interests, the retailer issued a statement in which it said it received an increased offer to acquire the company from one of the parties that has been involved in the process.
“The [offer] letter was not accompanied by equity commitment letters that would be necessary for the company to evaluate whether to enter into an agreement with an acquisition entity possessing no assets,” Rent-A-Center stated.
The rent-to-own retailer said its board would carefully consider any credible proposal with the assistance of its advisors.
Hours before issuing the statement, Rent-A-Center announced it had completed its strategic review and said it did not receive any proposals that met the objectives for a sale.
“Our Board conducted a thorough review of alternatives for our business, and unanimously determined that the execution of our strategic plan remains the best opportunity to deliver value to our stockholders compared to the alternatives available to us,” said J.V. Lentell, chairman, Rent-A-Center. “As demonstrated by our updated financial outlook and key operating metrics for April and May, the company’s strategic plan is already delivering substantial results and Rent-A-Center is well-positioned to generate value for all stockholders.”
In the same announcement, the retailer said it would “continue to regularly review opportunities to drive value on behalf of our stockholders.” It also noted that its cost reduction initiatives are significantly ahead of schedule, “and we expect to generate over $100 million in annual run-rate savings and realize approximately $70 million in savings in 2018.”
Rent-A-Center, which operates some 2,400 stores in the United States, Mexico, Puerto Rico and Canada, has been under pressure from its shareholders Engaged Capital and Marcato Capital to sell itself. It rejected buyout offers last summer.