Destination XL Group cut its losses in the second quarter as comparable-store sales rose and a spring advertising campaign paid dividends.
In the period ended Aug. 4, the Canton, Mass.-based big and tall men’s retailer said losses fell to $1.2 million, or 2 cents a diluted share, from $3.7 million, or 8 cents a share, in the same quarter last year. Comparable-store sales rose 3.3 percent in the period while total sales rose 0.9 percent to $122.1 million, up from $121.1 million last year.
On a non-GAAP basis, adjusted net income for the second quarter was 1 cent a diluted share, as compared to adjusted net loss of 3 cents a diluted share for the prior-year second quarter. Adjusted earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization for the second quarter was $8.8 million compared to $6.7 million in the prior-year quarter.
David Levin, president and chief executive officer, noted that this was the third consecutive quarter of comparable-store sales growth for the 343-unit chain. “The performance was broad-based across channels and all regions of the country and was achieved with 8.4 percent less inventory than we had a year ago. This was another quarter of successful execution against our strategic initiatives and we are well positioned for continued progress in the second half.”
He added that the spring advertising campaign that debuted at the end of the first quarter “resonated with our customers. Our aided brand awareness scores improved, as did other key measures such as emotional connection and intent to shop.” Levin also pointed to an “upgraded web site” that is expected to launch in the next few weeks that is expected to help boost business.
On an earnings call with analysts Thursday morning, Levin said the new web site “will offer an easy and efficient shopping experience, with less clutter and improved navigation so customers can quickly and easily find what they are looking for, especially within our mobile experience. We’ve also elevated our creative look and feel to better showcase the quality brands and products on the site. These improvements will allow us to engage more meaningfully with our current customers as well as bringing new customers to our franchise.”
In the second quarter, he said, the company’s direct business penetration continued to grow, now accounting for 21.2 percent of sales compared to 20.5 percent.
“We also continue to see very nice gains from marketplaces, highlighted by Amazon, which nearly doubled in Q2, benefiting from a large portion of our assortment offered on Amazon Prime with two-day shipment,” he continued. “Similar to what we experienced in Q1, we continue to see that the majority of the Amazon transactions are from customers who have never shopped in our stores or on our site, a clear indication we are expanding [our] market reach.”
Levin then turned to the company’s corporate restructuring, initiated in May, where it eliminated 56 positions, or 15 percent of its workforce, a move that will result in a charge of a total of $1.8 million, $1.6 million of which was incurred in the second quarter.
As a result of this restructuring, the company is projecting savings of about $5.6 million in SG&A expenses in fiscal 2018 and $10.3 million on an annualized basis, primarily related to corporate payroll, travel, benefits and non-essential project expenses.
“The streamlined corporate structure allows for more efficient and improved coordination and communication across our core business units, resulting in a greater focus on key business drivers,” he said. “We’ve already begun to see the benefits of this new structure in the second quarter and expect continued benefits as the year unfolds.”
Regarding merchandising, Levin said young men’s, active and denim products were popular in the spring season.
One thing that didn’t come up this time was Levin’s expected retirement at the end of this year. When first-quarter results were reported in May, there was some pushback from Wall Street on the transition costs for a new ceo and Levin’s separation package. But the topic was not discussed on Thursday.
The company reiterated its earnings guidance for the year, which projects sales of $462 million to $472 million and comp-store increases of 1-3 percent; a gross margin rate of approximately 44.5 percent, a net loss on a GAAP basis of $13.2 million to $18.1 million, or 27 cents to 37 cents a diluted share and EBITDA of $20 million to $25 million.