Express trims loss as sales jump 64%
American fashion retailer Express, Inc. achieved net sales of $345.8 million in the first quarter ended May 2, 2020, up 64% from $210.3 million in the same period in the previous year, progress that meant the company was able to significantly cut its net loss.
The Columbus, Ohio-based company’s comparable sales rose 5%, with comparable retail sales, including Express stores and e-commerce, increasing 11%, while comparable outlet store sales fell 19%.
The retailer saw solid growth in e-commerce during the quarter, with the channel posting a 40% year-over-year increase in demand. Since the end of the quarter, growth in the channel has accelerated even more, rising to 70% in Q2 to date.
According to Express CEO Tim Baxter, the company is on track to achieve its goal of $1.0 billion in e-commerce demand by 2024.
The retailer’s quarterly net loss came to $45.7 million, or $0.70 per diluted share, compared to a loss of $154.1 million, or $2.41 per diluted share, in the first quarter of 2020.
“We experienced an inflection point in our business after Easter as more people were vaccinated and states began lifting restrictions,” Baxter explained in a release. "As some people resumed pre-pandemic routines and began attending occasions, we have also seen improved trends in our historically dominant occasion based and wear to work product categories, while continuing our momentum and growth in our ‘new core’ such as denim and Express Essentials.”
The CEO further highlighted that, as a result of the combination of these factors, in the second quarter to date, both store sales and demand are currently exceeding Q2 2019 levels on a comparable basis.
Looking forward, the company said that it expects to see sequential comparable sales improvements throughout the year.
Express currently operates 563 stores, including 354 retail stores, 206 outlet locations, two Express Edit Concept Stores and one UpWest store.
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