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Roots, Yorkdale Shopping Centre, Toronto

BY CSA STAFF

Roots has debuted a new experiential format that brings the iconic Canadian sportswear brand’s heritage to life.

Roots’ founders, Michael Budman and Don Green, are passionate about the outdoors, camping and Canada, and all three are reflected in the brand’s new 5,100-sq.-ft. store, at Yorkdale Shopping Centre in Toronto. The design of the space alludes to an open, modern cabin that showcases Roots’ heritage and culture.

Designed in collaboration with CallisonRTKL, the store several different experiences, including a dedicated leather customization workshop where shoppers can witness firsthand the handcrafted process that Roots’ products go through. Using a digital design interface, shoppers can also customize their own products, adding a personal spin to their items.

Other features include an enhanced fitting room lounge where shoppers can relax while taking in images and artifacts from Roots’ past. Each of the fitting rooms has a different outdoor theme. Music brings life to the store through DJ areas and space for live performances.

“While working with CallisonRTKL designers, Roots meticulously showcased everything that makes their brand enduring and vital,” said CRTKL VP Cindi Kato. “The space is a true reflection of Roots’ commitment to the best representations of Canadian heritage, natural beauty, craftsmanship and integrity.”

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Chico’s misses on Q2 sales and profit; taps beauty exec as Soma president

BY Marianne Wilson

Chico's FAS' profit and revenue declined in the second quarter amid same-store declines across all its banners.

The women's apparel retailer also named Mary van Praag as president of Soma, effective September 5, 2017. She most recently served as CEO of Perricone MD. Prior to that, she held senior executive roles at Coty, and Johnson & Johnson's beauty division.

Chico's earnings declined to $22.72 million, or 18 cents per share, in the quarter ended July 30, from $23.04 million, or 17 cents per share in the year-earlier period. Analysts had estimated earnings of 20 cents per share.

Revenue declined 9% to $578.6 million from $635.7 million, compared with forecasts of $578.7 million. Total same-store sales fell 8.4%, driven by lower average dollar sale and a decline in transaction count. By brand, same-store sales fell 10.6% at Soma, 9% at Chico's and 1.8% at Soma.

“Second-quarter sales were disappointing, and we are taking decisive actions to adjust our assortments and enhance omnichannel capabilities in bellwether categories such as jackets at Chico's and dresses at White House | Black Market," stated Shelley Broader, CEO and president, Chico's FAS. "While it is early in the third quarter, these key categories are showing encouraging progress. Our leadership team also continues to be keenly focused on driving our strategic priorities to transform Chico's FAS, Inc. into a more nimble, efficient and innovative retailer that continues to drive strong free cash flow in the long term.”

At the end of the quarter, inventories totaled $235.2 million, compared to $235.6 million in the year-ago period. Inventories included a $16.9 million increase compared to the prior year due to a change in shipping terms with a supplier. Excluding the impact of the change in shipping terms, inventory decreased 7.4%.

As of July 29, 2017, the company operated 1,482 stores in the U.S. and Canada under the Chico's, White House | Black Market and Soma banners.

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Ollie’s Bargain Outlets has a blowout quarter as it keeps on expanding

BY Marianne Wilson

The deals at Ollie's Bargain Outlets were too good for shoppers to pass up in the retailer's second quarter, which topped analysts' expectations.

The value retailer, whose motto is "Good Stuff Cheap," said that its net income increased 50.1% to $19.7 million, or $0.30 per diluted share, in the quarter ended Aug. 29, from $13.1 million, or $0.21 per diluted share, in the year-ago period. Adjusted net income, increased 34.0% to $17.8 million, or $0.27 per diluted share, in the quarter.

"Strong deal flow, consistent margins and tight expense control all contributed to our exceptional earnings growth in the quarter," said Mark Butler, chairman, president and CEO. "Our business has never been stronger and we believe we are well positioned to continue delivering great bargains to our customers and long-term growth to our shareholders. Everyone loves a Bargain and that will never go out of style.”

Ollie's total net sales increased 20.5% to $254.6 million in the quarter, up from $211.3 million last year, helped by the addition of 11 new stores. Comparable store sales increased 4.5%.

Ollie's recently celebrated the 250th store opening and is now present in 20 states. The company has plenty of room for further expansion, commented Håkon Helgesen, analyst at GlobalData Retail, who said he was encouraged by the company's focus on penetrating new markets.

"The long-term goal of 950 shops looks feasible, although this will take many years to deliver," Helgesen said.

Ollie's expects full-year earnings in the range of $1.16 to $1.19 per share, with revenue estimated at $1.05 billion.

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