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Christopher & Banks posts 15% dip in Q1 FY'12 sales
06
Jun '12
Christopher & Banks Corporation, a specialty women's apparel retailer, reported results for the thirteen-week period ended April 28, 2012, its first quarter of fiscal 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 with other specialty retail companies.

Financial results for the first quarter will be compared to the thirteen-week period ended April 30, 2011.

Results for the Thirteen-Week Period Ended April 28, 2012
Net sales totaled $93.6 million, as compared to $110.4 million in the comparable period last year. Same store sales decreased 15% in the first quarter as compared to the comparable period last year.

Operating loss totaled $13.4 million and included a $0.8 million, or $0.02 per share, credit related to non-cash store asset impairment and restructuring charges. This compares to an operating loss of $8.3 million for the thirteen weeks ended April 30, 2011.

Net loss for the quarter totaled $13.4 million, or $0.38 per share, including the $0.02 per share credit related to the above-mentioned non-cash asset impairment and restructuring charges. Net loss for the thirteen-weeks ended April 30, 2011 totaled $8.2 million, or $0.23 per share.

Joel Waller, President and Chief Executive Officer, commented, "Our financial results reflect continued customer resistance to the residual merchandise assortment that consisted of styles that were too updated and priced too high while lacking in key categories. While we were able to impact a small portion of the first quarter merchandise assortment with improved styles and a better price/value proposition, the majority of the assortment needed to be aggressively marked down.

We continue to make solid progress on the four priorities we laid out in our last call:
1) we are reducing the number of styles and SKUs offered in our fall 2012 deliveries and rebalancing the assortment toward more good and better product offerings with fewer best styles;

2) We are planning an improved price/value proposition for fall by offering more attractive opening price points and reducing the variety of ticket prices;

3) We are improving inventory flow beginning with the September assortment by reducing the number of major floor sets by half, while maintaining freshness with deliveries between sets; and

4) We are developing an enhanced promotional strategy with more targeted, unique promotions and fewer storewide events.

We believe that as we continue to make progress on these initiatives we will be better positioned to deliver improved sales and gross margin performance in the second half of fiscal 2012 and beyond."

Balance Sheet Highlights and Capital Expenditures
Cash, cash-equivalents and investments totaled $33.7 million as of April 28, 2012. Inventory totaled $44.5 million as of April 28, 2012, compared to $35.9 million as of April 30, 2011.

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