Retailwinds, operator of New York & Company and Fashion to Figure, reported a net loss of $2.2 million, or 4 cents per diluted share, as compared to net income of $3.1 million, or earnings of 5 cents per share in the year-ago quarter.
Sales also decreased, coming in at $201 million, versus $218.8 million in the prior-year period. Comparable-store sales fell 5.3 percent.
The sales reduction reflects 22 fewer stores from the first quarter of 2018, partially offset by including sales from Fashion to Figure, the plus-size business.
The operating loss for the first quarter was $2.5 million, inclusive of $1.5 million of losses from three new businesses. This compares with operating income of $3.5 million in the year-ago quarter.
Most of the decline was due to disappointments at New York & Co.
To help get the business back on track, Traci Inglis next month becomes president, chief marketing and customer officer, a new position at Retailwinds.
“Traci brings exactly what we are looking for with her track record in translating customer data, analytics and insights into innovative, customer-first strategies,” said Scott. “She joins us at an important time in our multibrand evolution and her experience will be incredibly important to our portfolio of brands as we work to reinvent the way we market and deliver experiences to our customers across all channels.”
Inglis will oversee marketing and digital initiatives, including e-commerce operations, customer relationship management and performance marketing, loyalty, strategy and customer insights, and data analytics. She will also be responsible for creative and brand marketing, celebrity and talent relations and all customer touch points across all brands.
Inglis was last at TechStyle Fashion Group, where she was president of JustFab, Fabkids and Shoedazzle. She joined TechStyle Fashion Group in 2013, where she initially held marketing positions.
Earlier, she spent nearly two years as director of digital marketing and CRM at Hot Topic. Before that, she was a director and senior director of strategy and market research at Westfield and before that, worked at Express as a manager of customer insight, CRM and brand development.
For fiscal-year 2019, Retailwinds expects to open about eight New York & Company stores, close 12 to 17, and convert two to outlets. Two Fashion to Figure stores and up to three outlets will open. The company plans to end 2019 with 400 to 405 stores.
“For the first quarter, we executed against our strategic plan of growing our multibrand portfolio by continuing to build our Fashion to Figure business and by bringing to market digitally native brands that address customer opportunities,” said Greg Scott, chief executive officer.
“Regarding Fashion to Figure, we are pleased to see the ongoing implementation of our strategic plan resonate with the customer, as reflected in the brand’s 30 percent comp for the quarter.”
In April, Retailwinds launched Happy x Nature, Kate Hudson’s ready-to-wear collection, and Uncommon Sense, a lingerie lifestyle brand offering “smarter fits” and “support that looks great and feels amazing,” said Scott.
“That said, we were disappointed by our first-quarter performance in our core New York & Company business with February performance being particularly challenging, though we did experience sequential improvement throughout the quarter during the combined March and April period. Traffic, along with new customer acquisition and weak results from our SoHo Jeans subbrand contributed to the overall disappointing results in the first quarter.”
Scott did cite some improved performance the first two weeks of May, including Mother’s Day.