Hudson's Bay Co. narrowed its loss last quarter amid sales gains in Canada, but the retailer wasn’t firing on all pistons.
On Wednesday, the Toronto-based HBC posted a first-quarter net loss of 80.7 million Canadian dollars, or 67 cents a share ($79.3 million, or 66 cents, at current exchange). That’s an improvement over the year-ago loss of 129.7 million Canadian dollars, or 22 cents.
Sales during the quarter ended May 4 grew 4.2 percent to 884 million Canadian dollars, or $869 million. Sales grew 4 percent on a comp basis.
On a “normalized” net basis, which excludes restructuring, acquisitions and certain costs outside of day-to-day operations, the company lost 14.3 million Canadian dollars, or $14 million. A year ago, the normalized net loss was 23.3 million Canadian dollars.
A year ago, the average currency exchange rate was virtually even.
The 90-unit Hudson’s Bay division in Canada last quarter saw same-store sales grow 7.6 percent, driven by men’s apparel, ladies’ shoes, cosmetics, handbags, accessories, certain home categories, e-commerce sales, and the five Topshop/Topman shops inside Hudson’s Bay locations which the company said are generating over $500 in sales per square foot. Five more Topshop locations are being built this year inside Hudson’s Bay stores.
“We are having discussions with different types of retailers to do similar types of partnerships,” HBC’s chief executive officer Richard Baker said during a conference call. There has been speculation about Uniqlo, but the company has declined comment on that.
Sales at the 48-unit Lord & Taylor in the U.S. declined 1.4 percent on a U.S.-dollar basis, which the company blamed on customers staying home due to bad weather. There was strength in men’s apparel, handbags, accessories and cosmetics, while ladies’ apparel and shoes were weak. “Sandals or other warm weather merchandise in the first quarter has not sold as it has in the previous year,” Baker said. “The trend in colored denim was really against us this year. It was so big and so hot last year and just went away much faster than we or anyone else believed.”
Aside from rolling out Topshops, HBC, which went public last November, is seeking productivity gains through renovations that are currently occurring at four Hudson’s Bays and four Lord & Taylor units; by increasing private brand assortments, and via e-commerce and omni-investments including relaunching the dot-com businesses with larger assortments and growing fulfillment capabilities and social media and marketing programs. E-commerce sales were 31.1 million Canadian dollars, or $30.6 million, an increase of 32.8 percent over the first quarter of 2012.
The goal at L&T is to get comps up to 2 or 3 percent. Baker said he is happy with the new L&T in the Ridge Hill shopping center in Yonkers, N.Y., and might expand it. However, the store in the Mall at Rockingham Park in Salem, N.H., is off to a slow start. L&T’s next opening will be in Boca Raton, Fla., in October. The 69-unit Home Outfitters division in Canada is also slow, tracking negative single-digit comps. “Their sales issues in the first quarter were very much tied to outdoor furniture and seasonal goods,” Baker said.
Still, Baker said the company is gaining market share in Canada, including “a little piece from Sears, from shoe retailers, jewelry stores and small shops in the middle of the mall.”
@margotrobbie steps out onto the red carpet wearing @miumiu. The actress is nominated for “Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Leading Role” in “I, Tonya” at the #SagAwards. (📷: Stewart Cook) #wwdfashion
For @massimogiorgetti of @msgm, the Nineties are his favorite decade. “They had a huge impact on my personal growth. What I like of the Nineties is that they are not so precise in terms of style as other decades…there was actually a bit of everything,” he said. As seen on MSGM’s Spring 2018 show: tie-dye and a bit of grunge, two styles that are synonymous with the decade #wwdfashion #wwddecades (📷: @kukukuba)
Breaking News: @hedislimane joins @celine as its new artistic, creative and image director. One of fashion’s preeminent image-makers and trendsetters, Slimane is to join the LVMH brand on Feb. 1 and unveil his first fashion proposition for men and women next September during Paris Fashion Week. It marks a major homecoming for Slimane, who cemented his reputation – and influenced men’s tailoring for more than a decade – as the designer of Dior Homme between 2000 and 2007. He went on to reinvent and ignite the house of Yves Saint Laurent, which he rechristened Saint Laurent, between 2012 and 2016 – all the while maintaining a close relationship with the Arnault family, which controls LVMH and Dior. Read the full exclusive story on WWD.com. Link in bio. #wwdnews #wwdfashion
“Personally I believe the Eighties have been the richest and more vivacious period for international fashion,” Giorgio Armani said when asked what his favorite decade of fashion is. It was a moment of disruption and experimentation and only thinking back to the first years of that decade is always an emotion for me, for what they have meant to me and my work.” The influence is clear in @giorgioarmani spring 2018 collection, pictured here, which was full of bright colors and unexpected prints. Read more about which decades designers loved most on WWD.com #wwdfashion #wwddecades (📷: @aitorrosasphoto)
For Lady Gaga’s only Italian show on her “Joanne World Tour,” the singer wore a range of @versace_official outfits. The standout piece: this custom-made bodysuit inspired by the brand’s spring 2018 collection. #wwdfashion (RG: @ladygaga)
@_camillaruth_ is expanding on the wellness-craze concept with @westbourne – a new NYC restaurant that’s both a healthy-minded café as well as a business that gives back to the community. Marcus works with the Robin Hood foundation to give back to The Door, a non-profit providing youth development services, and also hires employees through The Door. Read our full interview with Marcus on giving back through food on WWD.com. #wwdeye (📷: @lexieblacklock)