Vince Holdings Corp. narrowed its loss in the first quarter and reported progress in recovery efforts and strong demand for its products.
The operator of the Vince, Rebecca Taylor and Parker contemporary brands has several growth strategies in motion, among them ramping up retail store and outlet openings, emphasizing greater full price selling and extending its rental program, chief executive officer Jack Schwefel, told WWD in an interview Thursday, just after the company reported a net loss of $11.6 million for the first quarter ended May 1, compared to a net loss of $48.2 million in the same period last year.
The loss from operations was $7.1 million compared to a loss from operations of $49.4 million in the same period last year. Excluding costs associated with non-cash asset impairment charges, the adjusted loss from operations in the first quarter of fiscal 2020 was $22.5 million.
Net sales increased 47.5 percent to $57.5 million, compared to $39 million in the same period last year, reflecting a 76.3 percent increase in Vince brand sales and a 33.6 percent decrease in Rebecca Taylor and Parker. The company has paused the development of new product for Parker, which contributed to about two-thirds of the sales decline at those two brands. “It’s on a hiatus, but we know we’ll go back to it,” Schwefel told WWD. “We have enough on our plate at the moment. We’re not letting it go so long that people forget about it.”
He also expressed some frustration with wholesale customers buying less but added that the situation to some degree is remedying.
“We are pleased with the pace of recovery in our business as we begin to emerge from the pandemic with significant sequential improvement in our financial performance,” Schwefel said in a statement that he issued after the market closed.
“Strong consumer demand for the Vince brand’s effortless sophisticated luxury is reflected in both our retail and wholesale sell-through rates.
“Looking ahead, we will leverage the momentum in the brand as we continue to advance our global growth strategies. At Rebecca Taylor, we are highly encouraged by the positive response to the relaunch, themed Romanticism Redefined. I remain excited about the longer-term potential for this brand as the strategies we are using, which are similar to those that led to the successful turnaround of the Vince brand, are beginning to show encouraging signs. Overall, our focus will remain on driving our initiatives forward while maintaining discipline in how we operate the business for long term profitable growth.”