Birks ends fiscal 2020 with 12.2% sales jump
Canadian luxury jewelry retailer Birks Group announced on Wednesday a net sales jump of 12.2 percent for fiscal 2020, as it carries out a strategic five-year transformation plan intended to return the company to profitability.
The Montreal-based company reported net sales of $169.4 million for fiscal 2020, an increase of $18.4 million, compared to net sales of $151 million in fiscal 2019.
Birks said the increase was primarily driven by the company’s retail business, as all three of its flagship stores began operating at full capacity following the major renovations completed at the Montreal, Toronto and Vancouver locations in fiscal 2019.
Sales were equally driven by a 1.7 percent increase in comparable store sales.
Still, the retailer was not spared by the negative impacts of Covid-19, which did effect the last month of fiscal 2020, as a result of unexpected temporary store closures and lower consumer spending.
The company warned that the temporary closure of all of its retail locations in Canada, which took place on March 18, equally hurt the first months of fiscal 2021.
“We accomplished a very important part of our strategic plan prior to the outbreak of Covid-19 by leveraging the major renovations to our flagship stores completed in fiscal 2019 to generate an improved customer experience and product offering which has yielded significant sales growth and momentum,” said Jean-Christophe Bédos, president and CEO.
“The further spread of Covid-19, and the requirements to take action to limit the spread of the virus, might impact the Company’s business, results of operations and financial condition but we remain optimistic that the execution of our strategic initiatives will lead to long-term value creation.”
The company did manage to narrow losses, recording a net loss for fiscal 2020 of $12.8 million, or $0.71 per share, compared to a net loss in fiscal 2019 of $18.7 million, or $1.04 per share.
Looking ahead, Bédos said that the company will continue to focus on the execution of its strategic plan and its four key initiatives, including expanding its e-commerce and wholesale channels, renewing its Birks branded bridal and fine jewelry product offerings, and more.
As of Wednesday, the company had reopened 29 of its 30 stores across Canada.
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