(Filed Under wholesale Lingerie News). Soma comparable sales rose .2% in the 13 weeks ended April 29, 2017, “which is meaningful since Soma has comped positively for all but one quarter since the second quarter of 2009,” declared Shelley Broader, president and CEO of parent company, Chico’s FAS.
Total net sales at Soma for the quarter were $80 million compared to $79 million in the same quarter last year. Soma’s sales represented about 13.8% of Chico’s total of about $584 million in sales in the latest quarter.
Meanwhile, comparable sales for all of Chico’s combined (which also has divisions offering women’s apparel) declined 8.7%. Net income rose to $33.6 million on lower sales of $583.7 million, compared to income of $31.1 million on higher sales of $643.0 million in the same quarter in 2016.
In the conference call with analysts to discuss the financial results, Broader said of her Soma division, “The updated Vanishing Back Bra which was launched in March brought new momentum to the business. The updated bra not only smoothes the back but now also smoothes the side. What could be better? The previous version of the bra had been a brand’s top selling bra since its original launch in 2010.”
“The updated Vanishing Back Bra,” she continued, “was Soma’s most successful launch in history, with the highest marked sales volume and average sales per store ever for the brand. The launch also brought new customers, increased traffic, and improved sales of other foundations. Overall, bras, panties and dresses were the strongest categories at Soma. However loungewear, sleepwear and swim were weaker as the brand continues to refine its brands positioning and grow its customer base. Looking ahead to summer, Soma’ next launch will be a new trend-right bra that features softer support and a more natural style.”
Speaking during the conference call, Todd Vogensen, Chico’s EVP and CFO, added, “We continue to see positive comp sales with Soma with only one negative quarter and it was pretty modestly negative in the last many years. Soma continues to gain traction, particularly in the broad category which as you know is critically important to driving brand loyalty. Their new customers are up. We’re seeing that, we are.”
During the fiscal year ended January 30, Soma opened eight new “frontline boutiques” and closed two, raising the total to 275. It also opened one “Soma outlet,” raising the total to 19. — NM
The full conference call transcript can be found here: https://seekingalpha.com/article/4076212-chicos-fas-chs-ceo-shelley-broader-q1-2017-results-earnings-call-transcript
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