Women’s specialty chain lowers Q3 guidance
As product and marketing issues continue to take their tolls on sales, J.Jill is adjusting its quarterly expectations.
For the third quarter ending on Oct. 28, the mall-based women’s specialty chain now expects to report total company comparable sales of -3% to -5%, with a moderate decline in gross margin as compared to last year. The company also now expects GAAP diluted EPS of $0.07 to $0.09, and adjusted diluted EPS of $0.08 to $0.10 for the quarter. This excludes approximately $0.6 million of non-recurring expenses associated with the retailer’s transition to a public company.
“We have experienced a lower than expected sales trend across both our retail and direct channels, and are updating our guidance for the quarter,” said Paula Bennett, president and CEO of J.Jill.
“We have been assessing the change in trend and have identified product and marketing calendar issues that are affecting traffic and conversion, and we are reacting quickly,” she added. “Given our long track record of consistent sales and earnings growth driven by a strong connection with our customers, we are very disappointed with our soft sales trend. I am confident in the actions we are taking to regain momentum and once again delight our customer with the product and service experience she expects from us.”
The company will provide its outlook for the fourth quarter and a revised outlook for the full fiscal year of 2017 when it reports third quarter results on Dec. 5.
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Amazon gives co-eds a break on Prime Student memberships
Amazon introduced a new way to make Prime accessible to college students.
The online giant now offers a monthly payment option for Prime Student memberships. Available to all college students enrolled in two- or four- year colleges in the United States, Prime Student is $5.49 a month, after they complete a six month trial. While this new payment option is 50% discount off of the usual membership fee, students are still entitled to all Prime benefits without an annual commitment.
To join, enrolled college students must provide a valid .edu email address. Following a six-month trial, Prime Student will be 50% off, which equates to $5.49 a month with no annual commitment. Students also have the option to pay $49 a year for an annual Prime Student membership, Amazon said.
“Our new monthly payment option lets students enjoy the best of Amazon in a more flexible and simple way,” said Ellen Kinney, director of Prime Student, Amazon. “Whether it’s getting their favorite products with free shipping or streaming thousands of popular movies and shows, Prime student members can experience all the benefits of Prime.”
This is not the first time Amazon has discounted its Prime membership. In June, the online giant introduced a program that makes individuals participating in government assistance programs eligible for Amazon Prime at a discounted rate of $5.99 per month. The regular annual membership for Prime is $99 per year, or $10.99 a month for those who prefer to pay on a monthly basis. Similar to the new Prime Student monthly option, Prime members on government assistance have no annual commitment and they can cancel anytime.
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