New York & Company posted net earnings of $3.09 million in the first quarter ended May 5, compared to a loss of $4.3 million a year ago, beating or coming in at the high end of guidance across several metrics.The specialty retailer's operating profit came in at $4.3 million versus guidance of $2 million to $3 million. In last year's quarter, there was an operating loss of $2.3 million.Earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization came in at $9 million, at the high end of the $8 million to $9 million in guidance. Profits were the highest the company has seen in a decade for the first quarter. And it was the first time comp growth was seen in clicks and bricks since 2011.Net sales were $218.8 million, compared to $209.9 million in the prior year. The increase in net sales reflects the combined effect of the shift of the calendar due to the 53rd week in 2017, increased sales from Fashion to Figure (the plus-size specialty chain purchased last year) and growth in e-commerce sales, partially offset by a reduced store count.Comparable sales increased 2.7 percent, as compared to the same period last year, driven by increases in brick-and-mortar store sales and sales from e-commerce.The company plans to invest to grow Fashion to Figure, further e-commerce and introduce additional celebrity products. In the fall, a new celebrity for the company's SoHo Jeans subbrand will be revealed. Celebrity products, which include Eva Mendes and Gabrielle Union, account for nearly 10 percent of the retailer's total business, and grew by double digits during the first quarter, officials said. The company "reintroduced" Fashion to Figure in February, operating eight locations and launching the brand on e-commerce. The e-commerce business accounts for 31 percent of total sales, which is very high for a women's specialty retailer."As we entered the second quarter, we are continuing to see positive momentum. What we really have seen since week three and week four in April are shorts and Ts really started to pick up," Gregory Scott, chief executive officer, told WWD.The Eve Mendes celebrity collection is "doing amazing for summer — really beating our expectations," Scott added during the interview."The other thing that's been really strong is the whole pant business. There are so many shapes and new proportions and new silhouettes." New York & Co.'s Seventh Avenue subbrand is "really focused on modern suiting, jackets, related separates. Fashion suiting really seems to be coming back."According to Scott, the exclusive celebrity brand offerings differentiate New York & Co. from peers and resonate well with customers. "Our partnerships with Eva Mendes and Gabrielle Union continue to be a cornerstone of our future strategy, and their strong support of the partnership was integral to our strong results in the quarter," he said in a statement.The chain, which posted just under $1 billion in total sales last year, increased its spring operating income guidance from $1.2 million to $5 million to $6 million, excluding the impact of non-operating charges of $1 million primarily related to severance resulting from the recently completed corporate office streamlining in support functions, as compared to the prior year operating income of $1.2 million.Net sales for the spring season are expected to be up slightly, reflecting growth in e-commerce and the addition of Fashion to Figure, partially offset by a reduced store count. Comparable-store sales are expected to increase in the low single-digit percentage range for spring.As reported by WWD, the company has been testing a subscription box service, and plans to grow it.
Exclusive: @isabelmarant and @lorealmakeup have teamed up to create a capsule makeup collection. "She is rather natural in the day but doesn't have time to go back home before going out [in the evening] and redo her entire beauty look," said Marant on the 5 products included in the collection, which will launching in September. Read @jenniferbethweil's interview with the designer on WWD.com. #wwdnews #wwdbeauty
After 17 years, Tomas Maier is leaving @bottegaveneta. “I am deeply grateful to him and I personally thank him for the work he accomplished, and for the exceptional success he helped to achieve,” said François-Henri Pinault, head of parent company @kering_official. Head to WWD.com for more on his departure. #wwdnews #wwdfashion (📷: Davide Maestri)
@shaymitchell is no stranger to teaming up with beauty brands, but she’s made her latest partnership official: She’s signed with @buxomcosmetics as global creative brand ambassador, WWD learned exclusively. Mitchell and Buxom will collaborate on campaign development, social media strategy and content and new product and shade development. Read more on WWD.com. #wwdbeauty (📷: @clint_spaulding)
Today we’re at the WWD Retail 20/20 Forum where industry leaders will be talking about the future of shopping for fashion, footwear and beauty. Tune in on Instagram Live at 9 am and 3:30 pm to hear from two of our speakers –– @therealreal’s Rati Levesque and @bandier’s Stephen Ippolito. #wwdsummits (📷: @elizaflorendo)
Seen last night at @coach’s launch party for “Life Coach,” an interactive pop-up in Soho: @joansmalls. Open now, visitors of the pop-up can engage in themes of “creativity and self-expression,” through tarot, carnival games, live performances and art. See the rest of the party pics on WWD.com. #wwdeye (📷: @vnina)
“We figure there’s enough cynicism to go around the world right now let’s go out there and be ourselves, let’s be enthusiastic, let’s have positive energy, which is something I think a lot of people really want and need right now,” said musician @joshgroban ahead of hosting the Tony Awards with @sarabareilles. Read @leighn’s interview with Groban on how he picked his look for the night, his next record and more on WWD.com. #wwdeye #tonyawards (📷: @vnina)
“Rock as an attitude and not a uniform. Street as a style and not just clothing. Sportswear as the new normality,” @paul_surridge said of his first @roberto_cavalli men’s wear collection, previewed here. The British designer joined the brand as the creative director in May 2017, and is gearing up to unveil his debut for the label with a runway show at the Florence Charterhouse on June 13 at #PittiUomo. Head to WWD.com to read more about his collection and see more sneak peek photos. #wwdfashion (📷: @simonelezzi)