(Filed Under wholesale Lingerie News). Rigby & Peller has closed two more stores, one in The Galleria mall in Houston, Texas, the other in the South Coast Plaza mall in Costa Mesa, California, dropping to just 10 locations in the U.S.
The chain, formerly known as Intimacy, and a division of Van de Velde, the Belgian public company, once had almost 20 stores here.
In announcing its interim financial results for the first half of the year, Van de Velde reported, referring to Rigby & Peller, a “decrease of retail turnover in the U.S. by 17.7% on comparable basis, both in local currency as well as in Euro as the average exchange rate remained relatively stable. Due to the closure of loss-making stores, total retail turnover in the US declined by 27.9%.”
Looking ahead at the rest of the year, the company stated, “Retail activities in the USA continue to underperform and will decline in 2016 compared to 2015. As of September 2016, Rigby & Peller USA will put stronger focus on online sales besides the existing store network.” While the company did not announce the two store closures in its financial press release on August 31st, an examination of its list of store locations revealed the changes. When BODY last reported on Rigby & Peller, in an article on April 22 of this year, it had listed 12 locations. Last September we reported there were 14.
Meanwhile, for Van de Velde as a whole, things were better. Sales “in the first half of 2016 rose by 0.5% (from € 113.4m [about $127 million at current exchange rates] to € 113.9m). On a like-for-like basis (including comparable seasonal deliveries) consolidated turnover was up 2.7%.” Profit for the first half declined to 21.2 million euros [about $27.3 million] from 22.0 million euros in the same period last year.
In addition to the U.S. retail operation, the firm owns the Marie Jo, PrimaDonna and Andres Sarda wholesale brands and operates chains of lingerie retail stores in Europe and around the globe
There were various components to the increase in sales including “growth of wholesale turnover of 5.9%. The growth continues both in lingerie as well as swimwear. Also pre-orders for the second half of the year are higher than the same period last year.” In addition the company reported “growth of retail turnover in Europe on comparable basis at constant exchange rates by 5.3%, especially driven by growth on comparable basis in the Netherlands (7.6%) and the UK (5.5%). Taking into account exchange rate differences, growth on comparable basis is 1.2%. Total retail turnover in Europe declined by 4.1% due to closure of loss-making stores and conversion of owned into franchised store.”
In predicting overall company prospects for the full year, Van de Velde noted, “In wholesale, pre-orders for autumn/winter 2016 are higher than the previous year, however somewhat lower than the increase which was realized in the first half. Van de Velde expects a rise in wholesale over the whole year 2016. Forecasts for retail are more difficult to make and show a different view over different regions. Continental Europe, especially the Netherlands, shows strong performance with growth on comparable basis. UK showed reasonably good growth on comparable basis, but the exchange rate impact of the British pound turned this into a decline.” — NM
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