Shares of Vince rose 10.5 percent, or 62 cents, to $6.50 Wednesday morning after the contemporary fashion and accessories brand reported a comparable sales increase of 8.8 percent for the nine-week period ended Dec. 30.
The company, which is in turnaround mode, also reported that its full-price stores and e-commerce business combined delivered a comparable sales increase of 15.9 percent for the holiday period.
“We are thrilled with our holiday sales performance, which continued the strong trends that we saw toward the end of the third quarter,” said Brendan Hoffman, chief executive officer. “The new product is resonating with our customers and driving double-digit comparable sales growth in our full price direct-to-consumer channels.
“We were also pleased with improved sell-through at our wholesale partners, which we believe bodes well for 2018 performance. We are working very closely with the wholesale partners we are exiting to ensure a smooth transition while protecting our brand equity.”
Hoffman has been working to turn around the Vince business since he joined the company in fall 2015. Last September, Hoffman said Vince would pump up its business with Neiman Marcus and Nordstrom, effective this year with the spring collection, while no longer selling Bloomingdale’s and Saks Fifth Avenue. However, the company also said that Vince shoes, which are the only licensed products in the line, will still be sold at Saks and Bloomingdale’s.
“Overall, we are excited about the momentum in our direct-to-consumer business and signs that we are beginning to recapture market share in existing wholesale doors,” Hoffman said.
Aside from narrowing the distribution, the agenda includes opening stores with shorter leases and better terms, continuing to generate greater full-price selling of buy-now-wear-now product, and fine-tuning the assortment at outlets.
Last year Vince reduced its debt, improved liquidity, completed a 1-for-10 reverse stock split to help regain compliance with the New York Stock Exchange for a continued listing, and returned to normal terms with key suppliers following trips to China.
During the third quarter of 2017, there was a gain in net profits to $3.5 million, compared to $3.4 million in the year-ago period. Sales rose 4.1 percent to $79.1 million from $76 million, and comparable sales were up 4.4 percent.
For the fiscal year ended Jan. 28, 2017, net sales at Vince decreased 11.3 percent to $268.2 million.