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Christopher & Banks to shutdown 103 stores
Mar '12
Christopher & Banks Corporation, a specialty women's apparel retailer, reported results for the nine week and forty-eight week periods ended January 28, 2012. As previously announced, the Company changed its fiscal year end to the Saturday nearest to the end of January, from the Saturday nearest to the end of February, to better align the Company's financial reporting periods with its operational cycle and that of other specialty retail companies.

Results for the Nine Week Period Ended January 28, 2012

• Net sales totaled $68.8 million and same store sales decreased 14%, compared to the comparable nine-week period last year.
• Operating loss totaled $32.6 million and included $9.0 million, or $0.25 per share, of restructuring charges. The Company recorded approximately $8.3 million related to accrued lease termination liabilities associated with stores identified for closure as part of its real estate restructuring efforts.
• The Company also recorded approximately $0.4 million of severance charges related to terminations at its corporate office and in the Company's field organization in the nine weeks ended January 28, 2012. In addition, the Company recorded approximately $0.3 million of other miscellaneous store closing costs.
• Net loss for the nine-week period totaled $31.7 million, or ($0.89) per share, including the $0.25 per share for restructuring charges mentioned above, and an effective tax rate of 2.5%, which is significantly lower than the statutory rate due to the Company's maintenance of a full valuation allowance against its deferred tax assets.

Joel Waller, President and Chief Executive Officer, commented, "Our financial results were clearly disappointing in the fourth quarter, primarily due to a merchandise offering that was priced too high, over-assorted and lacked some of our traditional key categories.”

“However, I do believe that by developing and executing on the right strategic plan we can get the Company back on track. Since joining the company in mid-December, I have found that Christopher & Banks has a loyal customer, giving me the confidence that we can win her back. My priority is to bring stability to the organization while testing and developing merchandising and marketing strategies that will resonate with our customers.”

“We are in the process of developing a more effective promotional strategy with greater focus on pre-planned promotions and a more regular markdown cadence. We believe that execution of these initiatives will lead to improved sales and gross margin performance in our current fiscal year and beyond."

Results for the Forty-Eight Weeks Ended January 28, 2012

• Net sales totaled $412.8 million and same store sales decreased 5%, compared to the same forty-eight week period last year.
• Operating loss totaled $71.8 million and included $21.2 million, or $0.59 per share, of non-cash store asset impairment and restructuring charges. In the third quarter, the Company recorded non-cash asset impairment charges of $11.4 million related to 103 stores identified for closure and other stores the Company will continue to operate.

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