Christopher & Banks reports widening losses, appoints new chief stores officer
Plymouth, Minnesota-based womenswear retailer Christopher & Banks reported slipping sales and widening losses in Q3 2018 on Tuesday, and also announced the appointment of a new chief stores officer.
The company’s net sales for the quarter ended November 3, 2018, fell 7.3% to $91.3 million, compared to $98.5 million in the prior-year period, while comparable sales decreased 7.5%.
E-commerce, however, was a bright spot for the retailer, posting an increase in revenues of 10.7%.
Nonetheless, Christopher & Banks’ quarterly net loss totaled $8.8 million, deepening significantly in comparison to the loss of $1.6 million reported by the company in Q3 2017.
During the quarter, the retailer’s results were negatively impacted by shipment delays and lower planned levels of inventory, which led to an average of 17% less inventory being on hand compared to the same period in the previous year.
“While we are disappointed in our third quarter performance, I remain confident in our path forward,” said Christopher & Banks President and CEO Keri Jones in a release. “We continue to make progress in advancing process improvement initiatives and reducing costs. Looking ahead, we expect this momentum to continue as our entire team is energized and focused on the strategic initiatives that we believe will drive improved sales, operating results and cash flow in the future.”
Year to date, the company reported net sales of $264.6 million, down from $273.6 million, while net loss totaled $21.6 million, compared to $13.2 million in the prior-year period.
Christopher & Banks has also announced the appointment of Carmen Wamre as senior vice president, chief stores officer, effective December 10, 2018.
Wamre brings over 28 years of retail experience to the company, including 19 years spent as zone vice president at Express, Inc., a role in which she oversaw more than 300 retail stores, $800 million in annual sales and over 8,000 employees.
During her time at Express, she also led a number of initiatives aiming to establish a customer-focused culture at the company, and implemented new store systems and processes which increased efficiency and revenues, while reducing costs.
“We are thrilled to have an executive with Carmen’s breadth and depth of experience to lead our stores,” said Jones. “I am confident that with Carmen’s extensive experience driving revenue growth and instilling a selling culture, we can take our stores organization to a whole new level.”
Moving forward, Christopher & Banks expects to see net sales increase 2% to 3% in fiscal 2019, thanks to expanded omnichannel capabilities, an enhanced product assortment, and improved marketing promotions.
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