Chico’s FAS soars over sales estimates in Q1
Fort Myers, Florida-based womenswear retailer Chico’s FAS announced first-quarter sales of $388.0 million on Tuesday, an increase of 38.4% compared to $280.3 million in the prior-year period. The company’s quarterly revenues also beat analysts’ estimates of $321.0 million, as reported by FactSet and cited by MarketWatch.
The year-over-year rise in the retailer’s sales in the first quarter ended May 1, 2021, reflected the impact of temporary store closures on the company’s sales in the previous year’s first quarter, which was partially offset by 39 permanent store closures implemented by Chico’s FAS since then.
Comparable sales for the period decreased 21.7%, reflecting a 32.9% decline at the company’s apparel brands, Chico’s and White House Black Market, partially offset by a 39.3% increase in comparable sales at the Soma intimates brand.
Indeed, Soma continued to be a bright spot in the company’s portfolio, posting overall sales growth of 65% compared to the first quarter of the previous year and a 39% increase compared to the same period two years ago, before the Covid-19 pandemic.
In an attempt to capitalize on this success, the retailer is currently introducing Soma shop-in-shops at its Chico’s stores and expects to have opened 47 by mid-June 2021.
Chico’s FAS’ net loss for the quarter came to $8.9 million, or $0.08 per diluted share, a significant improvement compared to a loss of $178.3 million, or $1.55 per diluted share, in the prior-year period.
Due to the ongoing volatility of the market, Chico’s FAS did not provide specific financial guidance, but did reveal that it is currently expecting to see an increase of between 28% and 34% in its full-year net sales in fiscal 2021.
The company currently operates 1,293 stores in the U.S. and also sells its merchandise through 66 international franchise locations in Mexico and two domestic franchise airport locations.
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