Ann Taylor Stores Corp. on Monday increased its first-quarter guidance based on strong reads at the Loft division and better overall expense and inventory management.
The company also said it will not pursue a new retail concept, but will continue moving forward with the launch of the Loft Outlet this summer.
The women's specialty retailer expects earnings per diluted share in the range of 45 to 47 cents, up from previous guidance of 35 to 40 cents a share.
Ann Taylor released preliminary sales numbers of $592 million, a 2 percent jump, from $580 million last year. Total same-store sales fell 4.3 percent for the quarter, with the Ann Taylor division down 11.5 percent and the Loft division up 0.7 percent.
The company will report first-quarter results on May 22.
Despite the boost in the first-quarter, Ann Taylor remains cautious going forward and maintained full-year guidance of $1.80 to $1.90 a diluted share, excluding restructuring costs.
Separately, Ann Taylor's senior vice president for stores, Sandra Tillet, was snatched by Charlotte Russe Holding Corp., where she will serve as senior vice president of stores, effective immediately.
Shares of the retailer rose 16.1 percent to close at $28.49 on a day when trading was up as stocks rallied due to a rising dollar. The Dow Jones Industrial average was up more than 130 points to close at 12,876.31, while the broader S&P 500 grew 1.1 percent to reach 1,403.58. The S&P Retail Index rose 2.7 percent to end the day at 405.89. Notable gainers included Limited Brands Inc., rising 4.7 percent to $18.80; J. Crew Group, up 2.3 percent to $47.60, and Target Corp., which jumped 2.4 percent to $53.48.
“Azzedine has been one of the biggest influences in my life. He has always been such a strong, loving, fatherly figure to me. I call him Papa. His designs are indescribably unique, they are pieces of art. He knew how to make the female form look its loveliest. I have so many memories of him; my favorite might be during my first show with him in Paris. He liked me and he wanted to help me get more work. He called all his friends at Kenzo and Comme des Garcons, and asked them to book me. They said, ‘But she can’t walk!’ And he said, ‘but she has such a great ass!' His friendship and support has been the great privilege of my career. I can't imagine life without him. Repose en paix mon Papa.” - @stephanieseymour tells @wwd. #wwdfashion (📷: @steveeichner) #alaia #azzedinealaia
Azzedine Alaïa, flanked by two of his closest friends, models Stephanie Seymour and Naomi Campbell.
He designed Seymour’s dress for her 1995 wedding to Peter Brant, and treated Campbell (who famously called him Papa), like a daughter. For more on the legendary designer, tap the link in bio. #wwdfashion #alaia #azzedinealaia
Azzedine Alaïa's “I-did-it-my-way” ethos stood out starkly at a time when brands are experimenting with consumer-facing fashion shows, coed formats and trans-seasonal collections – anything to perk up lackluster sales of ready-to-wear in an age of Insta-everything. “It’s not creation anymore. This becomes a purely industrial approach,” the late designer told WWD in an interview last year. “But anyway, the rhythm of collections is so stupid. It’s unsustainable. There are too many collections.” Read more about the iconic designer’s life and work on wwd.com, link in bio. #wwdfashion #azzedinealaia (📷: @WWD Archive, 1986) #alaia
Sneaker reselling app @goat’s latest exhibit, "The Greatest: New York," tells the story of New York's sneaker culture. To celebrate the exhibit, an intimate crowd gathered on Thursday night at the pop-up gallery space, located at Platform in Culver City, to hear guest speaker and illustrator @esymai talk about her own rise in streetwear and women in the business. "For me I'm just someone who is creative. I like to create things," said Chang. #wwdfashion
Azzedine Alaïa, one of the most iconic couturiers of the modern era whose body-con designs defined Eighties fashion, has died in Paris. The diminutive Tunisian-born designer, known for his structured knitted dresses with fitted waists and impeccably cut, figure-hugging second skin silhouettes was deeply admired by his peers, and counted supermodel Naomi Campbell - his adoptive daughter - among his inner circle, one of a gang of glamazons including Farida Khelfa, Carla Bruni and Stephanie Seymour who became ambassadors of his style. (📷: Alexandre Guirkinger) #wwdblast