The red ink flowed for The Bon-Ton Stores Inc. and Stein Mart Inc. in the second quarter, but Stage Stores Inc. managed to hold up better with just a small decrease in profits.
At Bon-Ton, losses widened to $33.8 million, or $2.01 a share, as the company took a $12 million, or 72 cent a share, charge to write down the value of goodwill. The charge was prompted by a drop in the firm’s stock value and expectation the tough economy will impede a near-term recovery. The quarterly losses compared with losses of $15 million, or 91 cents, a year ago.
Revenues for the three months dipped 4.9 percent to $694.9 million from $730.9 million as comparable-store sales fell 5.7 percent.
“We continue to adjust our operating plan based on what we are seeing in the marketplace and are making every effort to capture sales opportunities while remaining intently focused on controlling inventory, expenses and capital expenditures,” said Bud Bergren, Bon-Ton’s president and chief executive officer, on a conference call with analysts.
Like other regional players, the York, Pa.-based Bon-Ton has been pressured by a lack of consumer spending and stiff competition from better-capitalized national players.
Markdowns to move goods at Stein Mart pushed the Jacksonville, Fla.-based retailer to quarterly losses of $8 million, or 19 cents a share. This compared with earnings of $2.2 million, or 5 cents, a year ago. Sales for the three months slipped 5.8 percent to $311.6 million from $330.7 million, as comps fell 9.7 percent.
“We took aggressive markdowns in the second quarter to drive consumer traffic and achieve our goal of keeping inventory levels in line with the sales trend,” said Linda Farthing, president and ceo. “These lowered inventory levels, which we expect to continue, should give us a cleaner platform to present fresh fashion going forward.”
Stage Stores’ second-quarter earnings dipped 2.2 percent to $9.7 million from $9.9 million a year ago. Earnings per share, however, rose to 25 cents from 23 cents due to fewer shares outstanding in the most recent quarter. Sales rose 3.8 percent to $372.7 million from $359.2 million as comps dipped 1.4 percent.
“As a result of our strong inventory controls, we ended the quarter with our retail inventories down 8.9 percent on a comparable-store basis,” said Jim Scarborough, chairman and ceo. “Despite the difficult macroeconomic environment, our financial condition remains strong. Our free cash flow for the first half of the year exceeded last year’s level, while opening 28 stores this year versus 14 stores last year.”
The second quarter for Bon-Ton, Stein Mart and Stage Stores ended Aug. 2.
"'Dynasty' is all about gowns, the diamonds and the scandal, so it's a bit like the fashion industry. When we come to Cannes it's all about the red carpet dresses too, so it all fit really well," said designer @philippplein78 on the theme of his high-glamour resort 2019 show at his mansion in Cannes. #wwdfashion #cannes (📷: @zefashioninsider)
"I think Spike is such a brilliant director because he holds up a mirror to society and reflects these issues, yet he doesn't shove it down your throat, he doesn't tell you what to think," says @lauraharrier on her latest film @Blackkklansman. Harrier was at the Cannes Film Festival – for the very first time – with @officialspikelee. #wwdeye #cannes (📷: @zefashioninsider)
“I would think to myself, Are you happy? Yes, I’m wildly happy. I go to this studio every day and, in my inside voices, I’m giggling; I’m singing. Yes, it’s a lot of work, it’s a [huge] volume of material. It wouldn’t be for everybody. But I was very happy,” said soap opera star @therealsusanlucci of checking in throughout the years with her career trajectory. Lucci spoke to WWD about her decades-long career, love for pilates, motherhood and her QVC activewear line. Read Bridget Foley’s full piece on Lucci on WWD.com #wwdfashion (📷: @celestesloman)
@balmain has taken a stand at the #cannes Film Festival, dressing 16 actresses at a press call for the project “Noire N’est Pas Mon Metier,” or “Black Is Not My Profession.” The multimedia project includes a book, photo exhibit and documentary, which aims to expose discrimination in the French and American entertainment industries. “The moment I was asked to participate, I knew it was right for me, and for this brand, to form a part of this moment,” Balmain creative director @olivier_rousteing told WWD. #wwdnews #wwdfashion
"I always feel curious and I feel like there's more to learn. But I think being relevant, feeling relevant, I personally always feel that there's just so much more to know. And maybe that's the key.” — @themarcjacobs #wwdsummits #wwdbeauty (📷: @patrickmacleodphoto )
“The most amazing thing about her is that, regardless of all the things that have happened to her, her spirit is so undaunted by all of it. She is the most cheerful person you will ever meet. She doesn’t see problems, she only sees solutions,” said @ajanaomi_king of activist Ifrah Ahmed, who she plays in a new film “A Girl from Mogadishu.” WWD caught up with King at Cannes — Head to WWD.com to read more about her new role, personal style and how she uses social media for causes like Time’s Up and Black Lives Matter #wwdeye
WWD asked a number designers to share their thoughts on what Meghan Markle’s wedding gown will look like this Saturday. Here, Valentino’s Pierpaolo Piccioli sketches his look. #wwdfashion #royalwedding #meghanmarkle