Shares of Chico’s FAS Inc. were sent downward Wednesday, falling 7.1 percent after the company posted weaker-than-anticipated first-quarter earnings.
President and chief executive officer David F. Dyer reluctantly blamed mother nature for the weak results on a conference call with analysts.
“I was told by a boss early in my career that if you wanted a weather report, he would hire a weatherman, so I’ve always been reluctant to talk about the effects of weather on business,” Dyer said. “However, this past quarter I should have hired a weatherman. The unseasonably cool spring and the highly promotional environment resulted in weaker-than-anticipated performance.”
Net earnings for the quarter fell 4.7 percent to $51.1 million, or 31 cents a share, from $53.6 million, or 32 cents, a year earlier. Adjusted earnings per share, which factor out costs related to the Boston Proper acquisition, were flat at 32 cents, 4 cents off the 36 cents expected by analysts.
Shares of the company slipped $1.38 to $17.96 in Wall Street trading.
Chico’s sales for the three months ended May 4 gained 3.1 percent to $670.7 million from $650.8 million. Comparable-store sales were flat, which the company blamed on an unusually cool spring and tough comparisons with a comp jump of 9.6 percent a year earlier.
Gross margins fell 50 basis points to 57.7 percent.
Dyer said the company responded quickly to the sales softness and ended the quarter with clean inventories.
The Fort Myers, Fla.-based firm operates 1,397 stores under the Chico’s, White House|Black Market, Soma Intimates and Boston Proper nameplates.
“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