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  • Nick Monjo

Rigby & Peller Sales Declined In U.S. In 2017

In 2017, Rigby & Peller, the retail chain of nine lingerie stores in the U.S., continued “to post a negative turnover trend, mainly due to the closure of loss-making stores,” according to parent company Van de Velde.

Meanwhile, the Belgium-based public company reported updated financial results showing a company-wide sales gain of 1.2% in 2017, along with a slight increase in profit. The firm posted earnings of 33.9 million euros (m€) (about $41 million at current exchange rates) on sales of 209.0 m€ (about $254 million) in 2017, compared to earnings of 33.6 m€ on sales of 206.6 m€ in 2016.

In addition to Rigby & Peller, the former Intimacy chain in the U.S., Van de Velde owns other retail chains around the world, and the PrimaDonna, Marie Jo and Andres Sarda wholesale brands.

The company noted that with Rigby & Peller in the U.S., “An encouraging improvement was realized in the like-for-like growth figures. The turnaround in the course of the year was driven by an operational focus of the new management team on customer conversion, the increased ticket size in the existing store portfolio and accelerated growth on the e-commerce website (after the thorough revamp in 2016).”

Van de Velde bought a 49% position in the Intimacy chain in 2007 and had acquired the company in its entirety by 2015. At one point it expanded the chain to close to 20 locations in the U.S. But sales at the stores were disappointing under the new management and the chain was losing money by 2014. Since then it has slowly reduced the number of shops, which currently stands at nine.

Meanwhile, in 2011, Van de Velde acquired a majority stake in Rigby & Peller, a U.K. brand founded in 1939. In 2015 the name of the all the Intimacy stores was changed to that of the English brand.

In announcing its annual results, Van de Velde stated that “at constant exchange rates, the reported turnover showed growth of 1.9%. On comparable basis (including comparable season deliveries and at constant exchange rates), the turnover increased by of 0.2%. Taking the negative exchange rate effect into account, the consolidated turnover decreased by 0.6% to m€ 205.6.”

The company reported that wholesale sales for the year, “on comparable decreased slightly by 0.1% at constant exchange rates. A decrease in lingerie was compensated by growth in our swim and sports collections. Taking the negative exchange rate effect into account on the one hand and the positive effect of higher deliveries of the spring/summer collection, the reported turnover increased by 1.6%.”

On the retail side, for the company overall, “Turnover on like-for-like store basis at constant exchange rates increased by 4.2%. This is due to growth in Europe in all countries (+8.3%) and a limited decline in the U.S. (-2.5%). Taking the negative exchange rate effect and the effect of closure of lossmaking stores into account, reported turnover decreased by 0.9%.” — NM

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