Christopher & Banks president and CEO LuAnn Via said financial results for the second quarter ended Aug. 2 were solid, adding that the company made continued progress toward its long-term growth objectives.
Net sales at the specialty women’s apparel retailer totaled $106.6 million, an increase of 2.3% from $104.2 million for the year-ago period. During the quarter, the company operated an average of 9.3% fewer stores than during the comparable period last year. Same-store sales increased 2.6%.
“Customers are responding well to our refined merchandise assortment, targeted marketing programs and exceptional in-store experience,” said Via. “In addition, we remain pleased with our MPW (missy, petite, women) strategy, as these stores continue to deliver meaningfully higher sales and profitability than the ompany average. Beyond our most recent accomplishments, we have significant opportunity ahead of us across all facets of our business. We are continuing to refine our mix of core and fashion merchandise, enhancing our marketing efforts, and upgrading the e-commerce business, in addition to optimizing our real estate portfolio. While the retail environment is likely to remain challenging and be highly promotional, we are pleased with the positive momentum behind our business, as we continue to execute on our strategic objectives.”
Looking ahead to the third quarter, the company expects total net sales of between $122 and $124 million, as compared to net sales of $118.1 million in last year’s third quarter. It also expects to open four new outlet stores and seven new MPW stores, to convert one CB and one CJ store to a MPW store, to close three CB stores and replace them with three new MPW stores, and to convert 31 CB and two CJ stores, respectively, to an equal number of MPW stores by adding CJ or CB product to each.
Christopher & Banks operates 546 stores in 43 states consisting of 246 Christopher & Banks stores, 117 stores in its women’s plus size clothing division CJ Banks, 141 MPW stores and 42 outlet stores.