May 4, 2020
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Christopher & Banks announces store reopenings, better aligns inventory levels

May 4, 2020

Minneapolis-based womenswear retailer Christopher & Banks Corporation announced on Friday plans to start reopening stores as of Monday, following their temporary closure on March 19 in response to the Covid-19 pandemic. 

Christopher & Banks announces store re-openings, business update. - Facebook: Christopher & Banks

The reopenings will take place at a small number of stores in select markets at reduced store hours and with minimal associate coverage as the company monitors traffic trends and customer demand.

The company said it will continue to closely monitor the Covid-19 situation as it plans a phased reopening of its store base throughout May and June. The majority of its store and headquarter teams will remain on furlough throughout May and will be brought back as store openings ramp. 

Christopher & Banks joins a handful of companies across North America to announce this week gradual store reopenings, including Dillard's and Tapestry Inc. 

In addition, Christopher & Banks announced that it has significantly reduced its planned merchandise receipts for the six months of March through August to better align its inventory levels to sales. 

The company has also suspended rent payments to landlords while stores are closed and is working on negotiating with landlords. 

“Prior to the pandemic we were pleased with the momentum of our business as positive comparable sales extended through February, said Keri Jones, President and CEO, in a news statement. 

“Overall, we believe that the strategies we developed and executed prior to the pandemic will continue to benefit our performance in the future. Our near term priority is to methodically execute the reopening of our store base.”

In the fourth quarter ended February 1, 2020, net sales grew 4.5 percent to $88.1 million, while comparable sales increased 3.6 percent. Likewise, for the full year, net sales totalled $348.9 million. 

Still, due to the impacts of Covid-19, the company withdrew its previously issued guidance for full year fiscal 2020.

Christopher & Banks currently operates 445 stores in 44 states consisting of 309 MPW stores, 77 Outlet stores, 31 Christopher & Banks stores, and 28 stores in its women’s plus size clothing division CJ Banks. The company also runs a dedicated e-commerce website.

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