(Filed Under wholesale Lingerie News). Third quarter sales at Soma, the lingerie division of Chico’s FAS, fell 5.7% to $105.540 million, from $111.980 million last year. For the first nine months sales are down 4.7% to $331.322 million, from $347.501 million in 2021.
Chico’s CFO Patrick Guido blamed most of the decline on “the continued slowdown of the lounge and cozy categories,” adding during the conference call that “Soma comparable sales are up nearly 35% compared to the third quarter of 2019. Continued innovation and active inventory management resulted in higher AUR [average unit retail] and year-over-year growth within the core foundation, bra and panty categories.”
CEO Molly Langenstein revealed that at Chico’s FAS, “over the trailing 12 months, we grew our total customer count by 8%. Chico’s grew by 11%. White House Black Market was up 14% and Soma added 4%.” She claimed, “we are continuing to attract new customers to our brands and they are trending younger than existing by 10 years at Chico’s, three years at White House Black Market, and four years at Soma.”
Between July 30 and October 29 the company opened eight and closed two Soma “frontline stores,” bringing the total to 246, while also adding two Soma outlets, raising that total to 20. Guido revealed Soma will “add 14 more stores in the fourth quarter.
During the call, Langenstein mentioned the addition of “Chris Munnelly to our team as SVP of merchandising and design at Soma. I am confident that Chris, who has a 30 plus years of apparel experience and a proven track record, will work with our expert foundations design team to drive Soma growth in this evolving business.” Munnelly has worked previously at Ascena, New York & Company, Aeropostale and Macy’s according to her Linkedin profile.
The full Chico’s conference call can be seen here: https://seekingalpha.com/article/4559837-chicos-fas-inc-chs-q3-2022-earnings-call-transcript
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