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  • Nick Monjo

Soma Sales Rose 2.1% In Second Quarter

Two views of Soma’s Bodify Front-Close Perfect Coverage Bra on the company website.

Soma second quarter total sales rose 2.1% to $120.861 million, up from $118.362 million last year. Meanwhile comparable Soma store sales slipped 0.5% in the 13 weeks ended July 29, 2023

Molly Langenstein, president and CEO of Soma’s parent, Chico’s FAS, explained “our intimates customers responded to innovative new products,” adding that “product innovation and discipline drove year-over-year growth in AUR, spend per customer, gross margin, and profitability. New unlined and strapless bras, along with panties and sleepwear continued to outperform last year.”

Commenting during the conference call with analysts to discuss the results, she also pointed to strength in “stretch lace panties and shapewear. Sleepwear was also strong for the quarter and will be even more important for the fall and holiday selling periods. We continue to be very disciplined on promotions with gross margins improving over last year and as we head into fall, inventories in Soma are appropriately balanced.”

During the call Langenstein returned more than once to the subject of night wear. “I feel very good about the sleepwear business. It is diversified in fabrication as we enter the back half of the year, which we have not had that sort of balance before.” She continued, “I also feel very good about the color expression and the print expression of the brand.”

Langenstein praised Soma’s current bra assortment, the addition of more sizes and the balance between strapless and push-up bras styles. “We’ve added to the franchise of Bodify, so there’s many different profile bras in that franchise. And then there’s also a new proportion change, actually happening in bras, as well, to a more natural shape, which you’re finding in online. And then, just to bring it all home, we have a very balanced panty franchise business. Two years ago, you couldn’t find a thong in our assortment, and we have a very robust thong business today. And a diversified assortment. So we feel very strong about the balance and the position for the back half of the year for Soma.”

In the three month between April 29 and July 29, Soma opened one “frontline boutique” and closed one, with the total count remaining at 259. The number of Soma outlets remained the same at 20. Chico’s CFO David Oliver also revealed that “for Soma, we expect to open a total of three stores this year and are actively looking for additional locations should the right opportunities develop. In the aggregate, the 27 Soma stores opened mostly in the third and fourth quarters of last year, continue to outperform and should provide a digital halo and be a boost to comparable sales this fall season.”

Langenstein claimed her lingerie division was taking market share from its competitors, stating that Circana, an industry consumer behavior information supplier, found that “Soma substantially outpaced the market and gained share with customers 35-plus with household income over $100,000” in recent months.

Chico’s FAS as a whole, which sells other types of apparel through its Chico’s and White House Black Market divisions, earned $59.324 million on sales of $545.126 million compared to net income of $41.961 million on sales of $558.720 million in the thirteen weeks ended July 30, 2022. ­— NM


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