Hurt by an impairment charge and the highly promotional nature of the holiday season, The Bon-Ton Stores Inc. Wednesday said it swung to a large fourth-quarter loss.
For the three months ended Jan. 31, the loss was $87.7 million, or $5.22 a diluted share, against income of $75.2 million, or $4.43, in the year-ago quarter. Excluding noncash impairment charges to reduce the reported value of long-lived and intangible assets and a provision for a valuation allowance for deterred tax assets, the firm would have reported net income of $2.17 a share in the quarter, 5 cents above the analyst consensus estimate.
The finish ahead of expectations helped to drive Bon-Ton shares up 20 cents, or 17.7 percent, to close at $1.33 Wednesday, the third best performance on a percentage basis of all stocks tracked by WWD.
Total revenues were down 9.5 percent to $1.06 billion in the quarter from $1.17 billion. Revenues include a 9.4 percent decrease in sales to $1.03 billion from $1.14 billion. Comparable-store sales in the quarter declined 9.7 percent. “Consistent with the retail industry in general, the highly promotional climate and soft holiday season led to higher net markdowns and a decline in our gross margin rate as compared with the same period last year,” said Bud Bergren, president and chief executive officer.
Gross margin eroded to 34.7 percent of sales from 37.5 percent in the year-ago quarter.
He added that because the retailer expects to continue to feel the effects of a weak economy in 2009, it is “projecting a decline in comparable-stores sales and, accordingly, we are planning a reduction in inventory receipts until we see signs of improving consumer sentiment.”
The retailer said in January that it was implementing cost-savings initiatives affecting operating expenses, capital expenditures and inventory levels that it projected would produce at least $70 million in annual savings. A one-time expense, including severance, of about $2 million is anticipated for these reductions, Bergren said.
For the year, the loss was $169.9 million, or $10.12 a diluted share, against income of $11.6 million, or 68 cents, in 2007. Total revenues fell 7 percent to $3.23 billion from $3.47 billion. Revenues include a 7 percent decline in sales to $3.13 billion from $3.37 billion.
As one of the most recognizable models in the world, Christy Turlington Burns has an insider’s view of the fashion industry and the allegations of sexual harassment swirling around it. “I can say that harassment and mistreatment have always been widely known and tolerated in the industry. The industry is surrounded by predators who thrive on the constant rejection and loneliness so many of us have experiences at some point in our careers,” Turlington told WWD, along with her suggestions for how the modeling world should protect younger women and men. Read more on WWD.com. Link in bio. (📷: Tony Palmieri) #wwdnews
@asics America has tapped a new brand ambassador: famed DJ/record producer @steveaoki. This initiative is intended to set the tone for the new brand identity and philosophy and will include partnerships with influencers and in-store and off-line activations that will continue into next year. This is Asics’ most significant marketing effort in two decades, and is expected to attract younger consumers to the brand. #wwdfashion
24-year-old Jean Prounis is redefining the rules of jewelry. Formerly a studio assistant to Jemima Kirke and a design apprentice at Ghuran, she focuses on handcrafted subtleties and ancient goldsmithing techniques. “There was a really sterile feel in the environment and I wanted to have jewelry with character that shapes how you wear it everyday,” Prounis said. Each piece is hand made in New York, either by Prounis or three other jewelers in the district. #wwdfashion
“These collections continue to build on that vision, empowering differently abled adults to express themselves through fashion,” said @tommyhilfiger of his line of adaptive apparel, which launches today. The line consists of 37 men’s and 34 women’s styles based upon the pieces from the spring Tommy Hilfiger sportswear collection. #wwdnews
“Stranger Things” is getting a new cast member for season 2. Meet @sadiesink_, the 15-year-old who will be joining the Netflix series for its new season. You may recognize her from “The Glass Castle” with Brie Larson and Woody Harrelson, but the Texas native’s next role goes in an entirely different direction. She describes her character, Max, as “a rough and tumble skater girl [who] becomes friends with the boys at school.” The second season debuts on October 27. (📷: @jgreenery) #wwdeye
Amid the Harvey Weinstein controversy, there’s another sector that’s being put under the spotlight for sexual abuse: the modeling industry. While rumors about abuse and sexual harassment of female and male models — and the photographers, agents and others who perpetrated it — have circulated within the fashion world for years, model @cameronrussell started posting stories from models on Instagram last week about abusive situations they’ve encountered — from sexual harassment and molestation to attempted rape. Over 75 have weighed in so far. Read more on WWD.com. Link in bio. #wwdnews
To celebrate its 16th anniversary, @dylanscandybar tapped designers and celebrities to create mosaics out of candy. The mosaics will be auctioned off to support the philanthropic cause of each participant’s choice. Pictured here is the mural created by @aliceandolivia's Stacey Bendet. For a first look at some of the other artwork being unveiled tonight, go to WWD.com. #wwdeye
The annual Veuve Clicquot Polo Classic in Pacific Palisades this weekend drew Kate Hudson, Tracee Ellis Ross, Laura Dern and more. See pictures of the star-studded event on WWD.com. (📷: @chelsealaurenla) #wwdeye
In his new book “Hollywood Royale,” Andy Warhol’s Protégé Matthew Rolston celebrates the Eighties revival of Hollywood glamour. Featuring more than 100 portraits taken by Rolston from 1977 to 1993, the book contains photos of icons like Michael Jackson, Cyndi Lauper, and @drewbarrymore, pictured here in 1991. “Hollywood Royale,” out today, will be accompanied by an exhibition opening at Los Angeles’ Fahey/Klein Gallery on March 1. #wwdeye