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  • Nick Monjo

Soma Sales Dip 8% As Loungewear Slips

Two views of Soma’s “Sunday Lounge Set” for $99.

Soma sales fell 8% to $118.362 million in the quarter ended July 30, down from $128.627 million in the same period last year, “driven largely by the slowdown in loungewear clothing categories.”

But Molly Langenstein, CEO of parent company Chico’s FAS, noted that “Soma’s comparable sales grew 24% compared to the second quarter of fiscal 2019, demonstrating the overall strength and long-term power of the brand. Inventories are well-controlled, and AUR [average unit retail sales] was up to last year and 2019.”

For the combined company, (which also includes the Chico’s and White House Black Market brands), net income jumped to $41.961 million on higher sales of $558.720 million, compared to net income of $26.187 million on sales of $472.059 million, in the quarter ended July 31, 2021

In the conference call with analysts, Langenstein claimed that “Soma continues on its innovative and solutions-based path, and we believe we are competitively positioned to continue to capture market share over time. We’ve successfully opened three new stand-alone Soma stores during the second quarter, with plans to open over 20 additional stores this fiscal year. We continue to elevate our marketing, allocating targeted resources to digital and driving more traffic and customers to our brand. Total year-over-year customer count rose mid-single digits.”

The store openings came between April 30 and July 30, when three “frontline” Soma boutiques were opened and one closed raising the total to 240. The company continued to operate 18 Soma outlets.

Langenstein pointed to “investments in cutting-edge product innovation, including our new Bodify demi, which successfully launched in the quarter, as well as newness in strapless and push-up bras and solutions in panties. We are chasing the categories customers are overwhelmingly responding to, and we are well-positioned with replenishment inventory to drive growth. We are digital-first, leveraging technology to engage and deliver to our customers across channels and brands. Digital sales grew by double digits for the quarter, outpacing store sales, which were also strong.”

She mention again that “according to NPD, we still continue to outpace the market in nonsport bras and panties for the trailing 12 months. So, we remain confident in our innovative and solutions-based path.” ­— NM


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