NEW YORK — Solid sales and margins allowed Christopher & Banks Corp. to post more than a 20 percent increase in second-quarter profits.
The Minneapolis-based specialty retailer said for the three months ended Aug. 27 earnings rose 22.2 percent to $8.5 million, or 22 cents a diluted share, at the upper end of its previous guidance and 1 cent ahead of Wall Street’s consensus estimates. That compares favorably with earnings in the year-ago period of $6.9 million, or 17 cents. Sales for the quarter rose 21.5 percent to $89.7 million from $73.9 million, while comparable-store sales increased 3 percent.
“Despite the continued difficult retail environment, we were able to maintain strong merchandise margins through a disciplined approach to managing the business,” Bill Prange, chairman and chief executive, said on an afternoon conference call.
Joseph Pennington, president and chief operating officer, said on the call that while transactions per average store were down 2 percent, that’s an improvement from the 3 percent fall in the first quarter. He also said comps were aided by a small rise in the average dollar and average unit per transaction.
“We believe the decrease in transactions is due to a decrease in mall traffic, and I am happy to see we are able to convert from a unit and dollar standpoint,” Pennington said.
Looking ahead, C&B, which operates a chain of 494 stores under the Christopher and Banks and C.J. Banks nameplates, said it was maintaining its view that earnings per share will increase at least 20 percent over the second half of the year, based on its outlook for a low-single digit comp increase for the rest of the year and a flat to modestly positive September comp.
“While we expect the retail environment will remain difficult for the foreseeable future, we are encouraged by our ability to continue to generate earnings increases during these challenging times,” Prange said in a statement. “Given the increasing visibility of our brands and our ability to manage our business efficiently, we believe we will be able to benefit from any improvement in general economic conditions.”
C&B said it increased its revolving credit facility with Wells Fargo Bank Minnesota N.A. to $40 million from $25 million, subject to inventory levels. It also negotiated a two-year extension to the credit facility with a new maturity date of June 30, 2006.For the first half of the year, earnings picked up 17.4 percent to $19.6 million, or 51 cents a diluted share, compared with income of $16.7 million, or 42 cents, in the like period last year. Sales for the six months improved 20.8 percent to $183.1 million from $151.6 million, and rose 1 percent on a comp basis.
“By maintaining a disciplined approach to managing our business, we increased our operating margin to 15.2 percent from 14.9 percent in the same period last year,” Prange said, adding that C&B’s inventory position at the end of the quarter was “fresh and current.”
@chanel and @pharrell dropped what’s being dubbed as the world’s most exclusive sneakers yesterday. The Adidas Originals NMD Hu, which Williams designed in collaboration with Chanel and @adidasoriginals, has a waiting list of over 120K people who pre-registered online at chanelatcolette.fr –– and only 500 pairs are on sale. The singer predicted the resale value of the shoes could reach $40K. Read the full interview on WWD.com. Link in bio. #wwdfashion (📷: Dominique Maître)
@imanshumpert is diving deeper into his creative endeavors and relaunching his clothing line, Post 90s, and is helping to raise money for the hurricane victims in St. Maarten with a jersey he’s designed with his brother. The Cleveland Cavaliers player talked to WWD about kneeling during the national anthem, working with fashion brands and how he wants to be more than an @nba player. Read the interview on WWD.com #wwdfashion (📷: George Chinese)
Not only does #TheProfit return to CNBC tonight, but @marcuslemonis has launched @shopmarcus, a new shopping and lifestyle retail experience in Aspen and Chicago, with more locations to come. The retail stores offer in-store stylists and a variety of contemporary womenswear selections.
“It’s life, I’m going to face it,” @mingxi11 sighed. “I fell, but you know, I think the most important thing is that I get back up. I had the love, the help from my sister — the girl next to me Gizele [Oliveira] — she’s so nice. When I went backstage everybody was trying to comfort me like ‘Oh Ming, it’s OK.’ I’m really, really touched. I think it’s them who gave me the courage to go back on stage for the finale,” Xi told WWD of her fall at the @victoriassecret fashion show. (📷: David Fisher) #wwdfashion #vsfashionshow #victoriassecret
@louisvuitton tapped @therealpeterlindbergh for its latest city-centric photo book, which is part of a series called Fashion Eye. The primarily black and white book captures the spirit of Berlin in 57 images shot between 1989 and 2019. “Berlin is an inspiration for me, more than a city. I mean @millajovovich is simply Berlin!” said Lindbergh. #wwdfashion
“You know, I think audiences expect a certain performance so I have to deliver to them what they’re expecting to a certain degree. But I’m also a different actor and a different person, I have my own spin on the character,” says @noahegalvin of his takeover of the leading role in “Dear Evan Hansen” following the departure of @bensplatt, who originated the role. Read WWD’s interview with the 23-year-old actor on WWD.com #wwdeye (📷: @jilliansollazzo)
For pre-fall 2018, @etro created richly-colored wonderland, using tapestries, textiles and wallpapers from the Eastern world at large. The line featured floral and graphic prints and jacquard motifs, like this two-piece look featured here. #wwdfashion (📷: Giovanna Pavesi)
@kith is moving into children’s. The men’s and women’s streetwear brand has launched Kidset, a Kith kids line located in New York at 64 Bleecker Street. The line includes mini versions of staple Kith pieces like the Astor bomber jacket and the Kith box logo sweatshirts, along with a wall that can display up to 120 pairs of shoes from @adidas, @newbalance, @timberland and more. #wwdfashion
“I just wanted to create this fully rounded character, but I do think what excited me most was just the opportunity to give a group of people representation that I feel needs it. I like to do characters in projects that stand for something and Karolina definitely does, so that was really exciting to me,” @ginnygardner says of her new role in @hulu’s “The Runaways.” Gardner plays Karolina Dean, a queer superhero, which is a rarity for @marvel. Read more about Gardner’s character on WWD.com #wwdeye (📷: @dandoperalski)