Christopher & Banks fourth-quarter sales down, full-year losses widen

Specialty women's retailer Christopher & Banks reported its full-year 2018 results on Wednesday, recording lacklustre fourth-quarter comparable sales that failed to lift net revenues overall during the holiday season.

Christopher & Banks

The Minneapolis-based company announced net sales totalled $84.3 million in the fourth quarter, a decrease of 8.6%, compared to $92.3 million in the same period last year.

Comparable sales swung positively at women's retailer, recording flat growth during the quarter ending February 2, 2019, following a 5.7% increase in the same period last year. The retailer blamed unseasonably cold weather for lack of strong growth. E-commerce comparable sales surged 26%, however, following an 11.6% increase in the same period last year.

For the quarter, net loss totalled $11.3 million, or $0.30 per share, compared to a net loss for the prior year’s fourth quarter of $8.8 million, or $0.23 per share.

The struggling holiday quarter did have an impact on the company's bottom line for 2018. For the fiscal 2018, Christopher & Banks reported a net loss of $32.8 million, or $0.88 per share, widening from a $22.0 million, or $(0.59) per share, profit loss last year.

Yearly net sales totalled $348.9 million, a decrease of 4.6%, compared to net sales of $365.9 million in 2017, while comparable sales decreased 2.6% for 2018.

The company's CEO, Keri Jones, said 2019 will continue to play out strategic initiatives outworked in 2018, as the firm looks to improve its performance: reducing expenses and increasing online and in-store sales.

“Looking ahead, we will continue to refine our merchandising strategy, execute disciplined and effective marketing programs and leverage our expanding omni-channel capabilities, while we also focus on our cost reduction initiatives," said Jones, in a press release.

"While quarter-to-date sales trends are below expectations, in large part due to lower traffic levels adversely impacted by weather, we believe that our initiatives position us to drive improved year-over-year financial performance in fiscal 2019 and beyond," she added.

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