Chico’s FAS Inc. posted first-quarter results that showed continued declines for the specialty retailer.
For the three months ended May 5, net income fell 13.7 percent to $29 million, or 23 cents a diluted share, from $33.6 million, or 26 cents, a year ago. Sales declined 3.8 percent to $561.8 million from $583.7 million. Total company comparable sales were down 5.9 percent in the quarter, which marked a modest improvement after the year-ago comp decline of 8.7 percent.
Shares of Chico’s FAS slipped 2.4 percent to $9.75 in pre-market trading.
Shelley Broader, president and chief executive officer, said, “We are seeing initial success with our recently launched ShopRunner partnership and we look forward to the ramp-up of our brand offerings on Amazon.com and QVC.”
The ceo said that over the long-term, the company expects the new channels will drive stronger customer traffic and sales. While first-quarter customer traffic was described by Broader as “challenging,” she noted that the company has “leveraged strong inventory management and targeted promotions, which resulted in an improvement in trends.”
The company has three brands: Chico’s, White House | Black Market and Soma. Chico’s is the brand that has select merchandise available on the Amazon.com platform, while Soma’s intimate apparel items were featured on QVC earlier this month during the “AM Style” broadcast. The partnership with ShopRunner includes all three brands available to ShopRunner’s several million active members.
At the end of the quarter, the company operated 1,451 stores in the U.S. and Canada. There are also 94 franchise locations in Mexico.