(Filed Under Financial and General Interest News). As we await the report of 2012 financial results for Van de Velde, due on the 25th of this month, it is clear that some of the problems at Intimacy, the U.S. retailer it now fully controls, have not been solved. The Belgian intimate apparel giant owns such brands as Marie Jo, Andres Sarda and Prima Donna and operates retail stores under various names in different parts of the world, including extensive operations in Europe.
In a preliminary report earlier this year the firm noted its consolidated sales in 2012 grew by 0.9% but admitted “a fall in the retail turnover of Intimacy of about 12% in local currency and 5% in euro.” Last year when it reported results for the first half of 2012 it described a less severe decline at the retailer for the first six monts, noting “A fall in retail turnover at Intimacy by around 10% in local currency and 1.5% in euro.” In mid-2012 Van de Velde boasted that it had taken over “operational management of Intimacy since 1 May 2012 and has implemented a plan that is expected to start growing turnover in early 2013.”
Reporting in early 2013, Van de Velde said “consolidated turnover [grew] from m€ 179.8 to m€ 181.4 (or from approximately $243.3 million to $245.5 million) in 2012. In addition to the decline at Intimacy, the firm noted “a fall in wholesale turnover by 1.2%,” adding that this decline in its wholesale business was “mainly due to a decline in the first half of 2012, wholesale turnover increased by 0.7% in the second half.” Van de Velde added that “In Continental Europe retail turnover of Rigby & Peller (the former Oreia) grows by 7% thanks to the opening of new stores in Germany and Spain. The retail turnover of Rigby & Peller in the UK contributes for an amount of m£ 9.2 (m€ 11.3) versus m€ 4.4 in 2011 (5 months).”
Writing in a statement to shareholders that accompanied the company’s 2011 annual report, chairman of the board, Lucas Laureys, discussed the situation at its U.S. retail chain and predicted improvements for 2012 that, obviously, were not fully realized. “Intimacy had a tough year [in 2011]. Turnover fell on a store-to-store basis. This was offset by new store openings, which resulted in a total turnover of $38.4 million American dollar. The fall in turnover across existing stores was only due in a limited degree to the economic crisis. On 1 May 2012 Van de Velde will obtain full management control of Intimacy from the founding shareholders, the Netheros. We have identified numerous potential improvements to be realized in the second half of 2012. The market share of the Van de Velde brands within Intimacy has doubled since the alliance was formed in early 2007. Together with the new stores and the ensuing turnover growth, this results in significant value creation. Intimacy’s growth targets will be maintained. We want to have up to 20 stores open through the United States by the end of 2012.”
As of today there are 18 Intimacy stores in this country, located in Atlanta, Boston, Chicago (two stores), Dallas, Detroit, Houston, Long Island, Los Angeles, Miami, New Jersey, New York City (two stores), Orange County, Philadelphia, San Diego, Scottsdale and Washington, D.C.
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