By  on August 21, 2017
Francesca's

Francesca’s Holdings Corp. warned of an accelerated decline in sales, leading its stock to fall sharply.Shares of the trendy national mall boutique fell more than 11.9 percent to $7.03 in trading Monday, hitting an all-time low for the company, after president and chief executive officer Steve Lawrence said the back-to-school season “has been off to a very challenging start.”Lawrence added that preliminary comparable-store sales for the quarter ended July 29 fell 3 percent from the same quarter last year and said “comparable sales have further decelerated from July.”The company is set to release full financial results Sept. 6.Francesca's is also parting ways with its executive vice president and chief merchandising officer Laurie Hummel, who had been in the position since November 2015.The company declined to specify if Hummel is headed to another company, but said a search is underway for her replacement.Hummel held executive merchandising positions for Kohl’s, Stage stores and worked almost a decade for Macy’s before joining Francesca’s.In the interim, the remaining merchandising team will report to Lawrence.“We have a lot of talent on our merchandising team and are confident in their ability to execute our strategy as we search for a new chief merchant,” Lawrence said.Mall-based retailers have been heavily impacted by declines in foot traffic and rapid changes in shopping habits in recent years.BCBG Max Azria, The Limited, Rue 21 and True Religion all filed for bankruptcy in the first part of this year, while numerous other retailers have decided to collectively close hundreds of stores.Bebe is one retailer that managed to stay out of bankruptcy court by cutting deals with landlords, but the company is now operating only online.For More, See:L Brands Stock Dives on Continued Victoria’s Secret DeclineAmazon Stock Bruised After Trump Says It’s Harming RetailersUrban Outfitters CEO Says ‘Execution’ to Blame for Poor Q2 Performance

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