J.Jill announces solid third-quarter sales growth and a new CFO transition plan
today Nov 29, 2018
Womenswear retailer J.Jill announced the start of its search for a new CFO on Wednesday, as well as net sales of $174.1 million in Q3 as the company's performance felt the benefit of recent short-term initiatives.
The company’s net sales for the quarter ended November 3, 2018, reflected an increase of 7.5% compared to the $162.0 million reported in the prior-year period. Total company comparable sales, including comparable store and direct-to-consumer sales, increased by 1.0%.
Direct-to-consumer sales accounted for 39.8% of total net sales, up from 39.5% in Q3 2017.
J.Jill’s net income for the quarter came to $6.7 million, compared to $6.0 million in the same period in the previous year.
“Our third quarter results demonstrated progress on our near-term initiatives, including recent enhancements to our e-commerce site and a renewed emphasis on our product assortment,” said J.Jill CEO Linda Heasley in a release. “We are also making early progress on our longer-term strategic plan for the business.”
Year to date, the retailer’s net sales totaled $535.4 million, versus $509.5 million in the prior-year period, with comps rising 1.8%.
Net income for the 39-week period was $28.4 million, up from $26.0 million.
The company has also announced the departure of Chief Financial and Operating Officer Dave Biese, slated for 30 April 2019.
As part of J.Jill’s CFO transition plan, Biese, who has served in his current role since 2009, will work closely with the management team in order to ensure that the handover to his successor runs smoothly. The company’s Board of Directors will be assisted by Heidrick & Struggles in its search for a new CFO.
“I would like to thank Dave for his commitment to J.Jill over his long tenure with the company,” commented Heasley. “He was a key member of our executive team and played a pivotal role in building J.Jill into a prominent omni-channel retailer while leading our finance and operations teams.”
Due to fiscal calendar shifts, J.Jill expects total net sales to decrease in the range of 10% to 12% in Q4 2018, while comps are predicted to be down between 2% and 4%. Diluted earnings per share are expected to come to $0.00 to $0.02.
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