(Filed Under wholesale Lingerie News). Soma reported “10.9% comparable sales growth in the second quarter, the brand’s best comparable sales performance in four years,” enthused Bonnie Brooks, CEO of parent company Chico’s FAS.
Total sales for the lingerie division rose to $99.6 million in the three months ended August 3, compared to $89.0 million in the same period last year. (The company noted that sales for its new, younger lingerie brand TellTale were included in the Soma totals but were “not a significant component”).
Soma performed far better that the rest of the company (which also offers the Chico’s and White House Black Market brands). Overall, Chico’s FAS lost $2.3 million on sales of $508.4 million, compared to a profit of $16.8 million on sales of $286.8 million in the same quarter last year.
In the conference call with analysts to discuss the quarter, Brooks reaffirmed that “Mary Van Praag, president of Intimates Group, will continue to lead our Soma and TellTale brands,” praising the recent comp performance and pointing to “Soma’s four quarters of consecutive growth.”
“Mary and her team have done an excellent job driving the reinvention of our intimates business in all areas. The Soma team has delivered on product innovation, new channels of distribution, momentum in digital, impactful marketing, a superior customer experience and strong customer acquisition.”
Later in the call she noted the company “recently celebrated Soma’s 15th anniversary with a very successful in-store and online special traffic-driving event. This two-day event drove the top line and resulted in greater than 50,000 new customers to the brand.”
Looking ahead, Brooks stated, “In the third quarter, we are launching the newest franchise solution, the Vanishing 360 Bra, which offers smoothness from all angles and we have significantly expanded our holiday gift collection. To meet the customer demands and growth we are seeing and expect to continue, we have increased our overall inventory position and are optimizing our market spend through enhanced digital. We are very excited for the future potential of the Soma brand that its leadership team has unlocked and look forward to a highly successful fall and holiday season.”
Despite the success of Soma, Chico’s reported that between May 4 and August 3 it closed three “Soma frontline boutiques,” reducing the total to 254, while at the same time maintaining its 19 Soma outlets. — NM
The full Chico’s conference call transcript can be found here: https://seekingalpha.com/article/4288470-chicos-fas-inc-chs-ceo-bonnie-brooks-q2-2019-results-earnings-call-transcript
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