Blame it on the weather.
Destination XL Group Inc., the country’s largest big and tall men’s retailer, reported Wednesday that it managed to cut its losses in the second quarter, but weather woes caused comparable-store sales to be flat and overall sales to tick up only a modest 0.9 percent to $122.2 million.
The Canton, Mass.-based specialty store chain broke even in terms of net income, as compared to a loss of $1.2 million in the same period last year. The prior year’s loss included a restructuring charge of $1.6 million. Adjusted EBITDA was down, falling to $7.1 million from $8.7 million in the second quarter of last year.
Harvey Kanter, the company’s newly named president and chief executive officer, said: “The second quarter got off to a slow start as unfavorable weather impacted sell-through of seasonal product.” Even so, Kanter said results improved as the quarter progressed and the period ended with a “slightly positive comp trend.” The company’s wholesale business also improved in the period, he said.
Kanter reiterated the company’s ongoing strategic initiatives, which include “engaging with our customers in a more meaningful and personalized way from a digital standpoint, better defining and developing our working marketing plans, improving our e-commerce and online experience, and executing against our plan to build our wholesale business.”
E-commerce accounted for 21.3 percent of sales for the first six months of this year, up from 20.5 percent last year.
He stressed that there is “no silver bullet,” and the retailer will need to execute simultaneously on all these initiatives. He added that DXL is “conservatively optimistic” about the fall selling period and on track to “grow our customer base and drive a top-line sales inflection.”
The company declined to provide a projection for earnings and free cash flow for the remainder of the year, saying that Kanter has only been in place since April and the strategic initiatives he is overseeing may have “a transformative effect” on business going forward.
The company operates 323 stores under the DXL, Casual Male and Rochester Clothing nameplates. It is moving away from the Casual Male and Rochester names and is in the process of converting those units to DXL or closing them.