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Women's retailer Christopher & Banks revises FYQ3 outlook
Oct '14
Led by many factors, which include sales being negatively impacted by low mall traffic and lower than expected sales from its September fashion show, NYSE-listed US retailer Christopher & Banks Corporation revised its outlook for the third fiscal quarter of 2014.

The new guidance from the specialty women's apparel retailer now forecasts total net sales to be in the range of $114 million to $118 million, as compared to its prior guidance of between $122 million to $124 million and $118.1 million of net sales it reported in last year's third quarter.

Among other reasons and based on sales trends to date for the third fiscal quarter, Christopher & Banks also blamed late receipts of goods associated with the West Coast port disruption.

The women’s retailer has also downwardly revised gross margin improvement to around 75 to 100 bps, when compared to the comparable prior year period and its prior guidance of 75 to 125 bps.

It also expects SG&A expense to be between $33.5 million and $34.0 million against the prior guidance of $34.0 million to $34.5 million and the $33.2 million of SG&A expense reported in the third quarter last year.

The retailer also said that consistent with its prior guidance, its inventory at the end of the quarter will remain higher than the comparable prior year period, which is a result of planned higher levels of core inventory, but will be at a level lower than at the end of the second quarter.

CEO LuAnn Via said, "We have seen recent improvements in the sell-through of fashion merchandise and continued strong margins in our core offerings and we continue to be highly focused on carefully managing inventory and SG&A expenses.

“We remain committed to our key initiatives of enhancing our merchandise assortments and presentation, improving our store environment and customer experience, and increasing our sales per store with our conversions to the MPW format.

“With a number of these initiatives gaining traction, we remain confident that we are on the right path to achieve long-term growth and profitability."

Christopher & Banks operates 553 stores in 43 states consisting of 210 Christopher & Banks stores, 115 stores in its women's plus size clothing division CJ Banks, 186 MPW stores and 42 outlet stores. (AR)

Fibre2fashion News Desk - India

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