Chico’s FAS’s Digital And Innerwear Businesses Continue To Be Company Standouts

Chico’s FAS’s intimates brand Soma and digital businesses continue to be bright spots for the company. But the firm is still registering losses from its other brands. 

The Fort Myers, Fla.-based retailer — parent company to the Chico’s, White House Black Market, Soma and TellTale brands — revealed quarterly earnings Tuesday before the market opened, falling short on both the top and bottom lines. 

But the progress was enough to tame investor fears. Shares of Chico’s FAS, which closed up 4.12 percent Monday at $1.77, rose more than 1 percent during pre-market hours as a result. 

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“During the third quarter, we significantly enhanced our financial liquidity and flexibility with the $300 million credit facility and commitments for $65 million in rent abatements and reductions,” Langenstein added. “We are also on track to realize [selling, general and administrative] expense savings of 23 percent, compared to our original plan for the year. All of these actions have created a solid financial foundation for Chico’s FAS that we believe has positioned us to emerge a stronger company.” 

For the three-month period ending Oct. 31, total company revenues were $351 million, compared with $484 million during 2019’s third quarter. But the company pointed out that this was still an improvement from the previous quarter. Sales increased nearly 15 percent, compared with the second quarter. 

By brand, Chico’s revenues were $163 million, down from nearly $250 million a year ago. 

Total sales at White House Black Market were $104 million, down from nearly $155 million last year. Soma’s sales, meanwhile, grew to $83.5 million, up from $79.7 million during the same period a year ago. 

Comparable sales during the quarter fell at both the Chico’s and White House Black Market brands, year-over-year, 32.3 percent and nearly 29 percent, respectively. But Soma’s comparable sales rose 10.5 percent for the quarter. That’s on top of an 11.3 percent increase the same time last year. 

The company also had strong e-commerce sales, increasing double digits during the quarter. At Soma, digital sales surged 67 percent in the last three months. 

But the gains weren’t enough to offset losses. The company lost $55.8 million during the quarter. That’s on top of net losses of $8.1 million the same time last year. (And losses of $46.8 million last quarter.)  

The company ended the quarter with 1,310 stores, including 641 Chico’s locations, 410 White House Black Market units and 259 Soma shops. 

In July, Chico’s FAS Canada, a subsidiary of Chico’s FAS, filed for bankruptcy with the Ontario, Canada, office of the Superintendent in Bankruptcy, to help reduce expenses.  

The move meant all 10 of its stores in Canada — four Chico’s and six White House Black Market locations — would close permanently. The company continues to operate its e-commerce platforms in Canada.

The retailer ended the quarter with $149 million in debt and $145.2 million in cash and cash equivalents. The company is not providing forward-looking guidance. 

Shares of Chico’s FAS are down nearly 58 percent year-over-year.

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