(Filed Under wholesale Lingerie News). Comparable store sales at Soma rose 0.4% in the three months ended October 29th, the 29th increase in the last 30 quarters for the lingerie division of Chico’s FAS. The retailer also confirmed it still plans to open eight or nine new lingerie stores this year.
Soma net sales for the thirteen weeks rose to $74.320 million, up from $72.349 million for the quarter ended October 31, 2015. Meanwhile, parent company Chico’s, in the quarter, earned $23.598 million on sales of $596.912 million, compared to a loss of $11.610 million on higher sales of $645.433 million in the same three months last year.
“Soma drove higher operating margin rate and operating income through the expansion of merchandise margin rate and SG&A leverage,” explained Chico’s CEO Shelley Broader in the most recent conference call with analysts. “Building on Soma’s regular flow of new bras, the brand launched three in the third quarter, the memorable, the sport, and the bralette. The memorable drove sales volume for bras with its smooth memory foam that contours to the body for a natural shape.”
“The sport bra showed great early success but we have more work to do to broaden that offering. Early indications for the bralette are positive as the product was only set in stores at the end of October. Overall, bras, panties, dressy sleepwear and casual sets performed well. However, the fashion side of the business continued to be lacking as Soma refines its brand positioning and navigates weaker apparel traffic patterns.”
Broader continued, “Soma’s holiday collection features sexier and more elevated styles with more sparkle, sheer and lace details including trend-right lace bralettes, plunge style and a cheeky panty collection. Soma will also offer many gifting options such as plush robes, slippers and pajama sets.”
“I continue to be bullish on our opportunity in intimates and view this as an exciting growth vehicle for the company. We are seeing many positive trends, so we’re testing and learning from them to refine Soma’s model to deliver stronger growth. While we’re pleased with the consistency of Soma’s positive comps, we clearly expect more of the brand and of the future. We look forward to sharing more detail on these strategies in the coming months as we formulate our plans.” — NM
The complete conference call transcript can be found here: http://seekingalpha.com/article/4025665-chicos-fas-chs-ceo-shelley-broader-q3-2016-results-earnings-call-transcript
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