FINANCE

Madewell boosts J.Crew Q1 sales

BY Dan Berthiaume

Overall J.Crew Group Inc.’s first-quarter revenues received a lift from the Madewell brand, although profits remained in the red.

J.Crew Group reported total revenue growth of 7% to $578.5 million from $540.45 million in the first quarter of fiscal 2018. Same-store sales rose 1%, identical to the 1% prior-year increase. Net loss shrank to $16.2 million from $33.2 million.

Breaking down results by brand, the J.Crew brand did not fare as well as the company as a whole. Revenue fell 4% to $376.1 million from $391.9 million. Same-store sales declined 1%, an improvement from the 6% decrease reported in the first quarter of fiscal 2018.

However, performance of the Madewell brand was a bright spot in the first quarter. Madewell’s revenue rose 15% to $132.9 million from $115.8 million. Same-store sales increased 10%, following an increase of 31% in the first quarter of the prior year.

“We are encouraged by the meaningful progress we have made in the first quarter, driven by continued momentum at Madewell and the early impact of our swift actions to improve profitability at J.Crew,” said Michael J. Nicholson, interim CEO, J.Crew. “As we look ahead, we are optimistic about our plans to reignite the J.Crew brand with new designs, assortments and brand expressions, and remain steadfast in our commitment towards achieving Madewell’s long-term growth potential as a leading global brand.”

As of the end of the first quarter of fiscal 2019, the company operates 195 J.Crew retail stores, 132 Madewell stores, jcrew.com, jcrewfactory.com, madewell.com, and 173 factory stores (including 41 J. Crew Mercantile stores).

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