Destination XL saw sales slip during the first quarter and posted a net loss, but it's not taking kindly to being listed among retailers with the highest risk of default.The big and tall men’s retailer counted a net loss of $6.1 million for the quarter from a net income of $200,000 a year ago on net sales of $107.7 million, compared with $107.9 million at the start of 2016. Comparable store sales fell by 2.1 percent while that start of last year saw a 2 percent increase.Earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortization came in at $2.5 million, down from $8.4 million.Chief executive officer David Levin said sales in February and March were particularly challenging, but since the launch of a new ad campaign in early April, sales trends have been improving. April comp sales grew by 6.4 percent and the positive momentum is expected to carry through May.“Our top priorities for fiscal 2017 are customer acquisition and retention, which we are fueling by reinvesting in marketing and in our digital capabilities,” Levin said. “These investments, which will have an adverse impact on EBITDA and net income in the near term, have been factored into our guidance and, more importantly, are building the foundation for sustained future sales growth with attractive profit margins.”Levin then shifted focus to rebutting Destination XL’s position on a late April list gathered by S&P Global Markets of the retailers most “at risk” for a credit default in the next year.While the ratings agency only gave the company an 8 percent chance of default, Levin said he was “pretty upset that our name got on there” and argued the metrics used in the analysis “were not realistic.”Chief financial officer Peter Stratton added that while there are retailers “in serious trouble” on the S&P list, Destination XL is not in such a position.“We’ve been in a very capital intensive transition for the last five to seven years that's added a lot of depreciation expense,” Stratton said. “Our operating margins and net income haven’t been exactly stellar, but that's not the best indicator of the ability of a company to repay debt. We’re on sound footing.”The company added that its total debt at the end of the first quarter was $78.8 million, including a $62.1 million revolving credit facility with borrowing availability of $45.7 million, and expects to generate $15 to $20 million in free cash flow.Levin added that the company is also looking to slow down its previous rate of 20 to 30 store openings a year to maybe five beginning in 2018, and said money saved there will be used to pay down debt.“Were taking a pause and until we see a stabilization of the industry,” Levin said.This year Destination XL plans to open 19 stores and close 16 Casual Male stores and three outlet stores.Looking forward, the company expects full year sales to be in the range of $470 to $480 million and comp store sales to grow by 1 percent to 4 percent. A net loss of between $5.7 million and $11.7 million is also expected.For More, See:Ross Sales, Profits Keep Climbing in First QuarterL Brands Looks to Brighter Future Amid Sales DeclinesPerry Ellis Stock Jumps as Profits Fall, but Top Expectations
“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