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Total revenue at DSW Inc. increased 13.3 percent for the year to February 3, 2018 to 3.2 billion dollars, including 310 million dollars from the acquisitions of the Canadian business and Camuto Group. For the fifty-two week period, the company’s comparable sales increased by 6.1 percent compared to last year's 0.4 percent decrease.

Commenting on the company’s financial update, DSW’s Chief Executive Officer, Roger Rawlins, said in a statement: "Fiscal 2018 was one of the best years in our company's history from a comparable sales and earnings growth standpoint. We crossed the 3 billion dollars revenue threshold for the first time and drove a 6 percent increase in comparable sales."

Reported gross profit for the year, DSW said, as a percent of sales, increased 100 bps due to lower product costs and occupancy leverage. Reported net loss was 20.5 million dollars or 26 cents per diluted share.

Adjusted net income was 134.9 million dollars or 1.66 dollars per diluted share, which included a loss of 12 cents per diluted share from the wind down of operations for the exited businesses. Excluding the additional 53rd week in fiscal 2017, fiscal 2018 adjusted net income grew 14.3 percent and adjusted EPS grew 13.7 percent compared to the prior year.

DSW's board of directors declared a quarterly cash dividend of 25 cents per share to be paid on April 12, 2019 to shareholders of record at the close of business on April 1, 2019.

Author: Prachi Singh
Posted: ”19-03-2019”

Total sales at John Lewis for the week to March 16, were down 2.4 percent, as the company said in a statement that it annualised a week which included Mother’s Day, and price matched a competitor event that was smaller than last year. Fashion sales, Jon Lewis added, were down 0.5 percent on the same week last year, due to the lower level of price matching in beauty and nursery.

However, John Lewis witnessed a strong week in menswear, with sales up 9.3 percent, while womenswear sales were up 5.1 percent. The company further said that mixed weather drove sales of both knitwear and swimwear as customers began to think about their summer holidays.

Home sales were down 3.2 percent but electrical and home technology sales were down 3.8 percent due to annualising strong promotions in the run up to an earlier Easter last year.

Picture:John Lewis website

Author: Prachi Singh
Posted: ”19-03-2019”

Mulberry has announced that its group finance director, Neil Ritchie, is resigning after three years at the company.

Ritchie, who joined the British fashion house in 2016, will remain in his current role until 30 June 2019 following the completion of the year end audit process.

"The board would like to express its thanks to Neil for his valuable contribution to the group over the past three years and wish him every success in his future endeavours," Mulberry chairman Godrey Davis said in a statement.

Ritchie added: "I would like to thank the Board and my colleagues for their support over the past three years. It has been a privilege to have contributed to Mulberry's development and the creation of its platform for International expansion."

Mulberry’s board has begun a process to find a successor for Ritchie.

Photo credit: Mulberry, Facebook

Author: Huw Hughes
Posted: ”19-03-2019”

London-based upmarket slipper brand Mahabis has appointed former Moonpig managing director Iain Martin as its new CEO.

Martin will be taking over from James Cox, who was appointed interim CEO when the company was saved from administration by YYX Capital in January.

Martin, who will be starting his new role on 18 March, spent nine years leading Moonpig, where he helped grow revenue from 1.8 million pounds to over 60 million pounds and took EBITDA growth from 0.3 million pounds to 13.6 million pounds per annum.

"Iain has a wealth of experience gathered from more than 20 years’ in senior commercial, marketing, operational and technical roles, spanning large and small scale businesses,” James Cox, managing partner of YYX Capital, said in a statement. “We’re delighted to have such high calibre CEO on board."

Commenting on the appointment, Martin added: "Mahabis has an established brand name and good customer recognition having already sold nearly a million pairs of its iconic design footwear in over 100 countries in just over 4 years.

“It’s a high margin product category with a large addressable market, both online and offline. I can’t wait to help propel the brand in new and exciting directions."

Photo credit: Mahabis

Author: Huw Hughes
Posted: ”19-03-2019”

Bonmarché Holdings plc has said in a statement that the company expected to achieve underlying PBT for the year within the lower end of the breakeven to loss of 4 million pounds. However, it added that trading since the beginning of March has been significantly weaker, reversing sales gains made in the previous months. Bonmarché now expects underlying PBT loss to be between 5 million pounds and 6 million pounds.

The company said that as noted in its announcement of December 13, 2018, sales during the third quarter of the financial year were below initial expectations. During the "sale" period covering January and February 2019, autumn/winter season stock levels reduced 40 percent compared to last year, however, it also meant heavy discounting to achieve the target. While sales since Christmas had been slightly above the level required to meet the revised forecast range, despite the additional discounting, Bonmarché added that trading trend since March continued to be weaker.

According to the company, the group's cash balance reaches its lowest point in the annual cycle at the end of March, when its bank facility is expected to be sufficient to meet liquidity requirements, even at the lowest end of the PBT range. Other than this short term borrowing requirement at the year-end, the group expects to continue to operate with a positive net cash balance during FY20.


Author: Prachi Singh
Posted: ”19-03-2019”

For the three months ended 28 February 2019, Asos Plc said, total sales grew at 13 percent on a reported basis and 11 percent on a constant currency basis to 658.5 million pounds (873.3 million dollars).

The company added that retail gross margin expanded by 40bps. Total orders placed increased 15 percent at 17.3 million, while active customers rose by 16 percent. For FY19, the company expects sales growth at 15 percent, retail gross margin to be down 150bps and EBIT margin unchanged at 2 percent.

Commenting on the trading update, Nick Beighton, the company’s CEO said in a statement: “We continued to outperform in the UK with sales growth of 14 percent. Sales in Europe were up 12 percent, although France and Germany, our two largest markets, continue to be challenging."

Asos France and Germany continue to struggle

"Our US performance was behind our plans during the period and our ROW segment returned to good growth of 20 percent after a disappointing Q1. Given the actions we are taking together with an improving US performance, we believe the group will deliver stronger growth in the second half. Consequently we remain confident that we will meet guidance for the full year.”

For the first half, Asos reported revenue growth of 14 percent reported and 12 percent at constant currency to 1,314.5 million pounds (1,743.6 million dollars). Retail sales in the UK improved 16 percent during the first half, while sales in international markets were up 12 percent reported and 9 percent at constant currency.

Asos said it will be increasing investment in price and marketing in the second half, particularly in France and Germany.

“Given the actions we are taking together with an improving US performance, we believe the group will deliver stronger growth in the second half. Consequently we remain confident that we will meet guidance for the full year,” Beighton said.


Author: Prachi Singh
Posted: ”19-03-2019”

Moda Operandi has announced the appointment of Akshat Thanawala as its Chief Product Officer, who the company said, will oversee Moda Operandi product strategy across consumer-facing platforms and designer tools and services.

“Akshat’s experience building innovative products for complex marketplace systems is invaluable to Moda as we aim to build the best experiences for both our customers and brand partners,” said Ganesh Srivats, CEO of Moda Operandi in a statement.

Thanawala joins Moda Operandi Grubhub, where he served as vice president of product management at their headquarters in Chicago, building the company's restaurant platforms and key diner-facing products. Prior to Grubhub, he has served in product leadership roles at Expedia and Orbitz.

Thanawala’s appointment as chief product officer follows on the heels of Moda Operandi announcing Kristina Salen as its new CFO.

Picture credit:Akshat Thanawala via Moda Operandi

Author: Prachi Singh
Posted: ”19-03-2019”

The board of directors of New Look Poland Sp. z o.o. (NLP) has decided to file for insolvency. The company said in a statement that following a review of its financial and trading position, New Look Poland, which currently operates 19 stores in Poland, has concluded that it is unable to continue trading, and has determined to wind up its operations.

The company added that NLP’s business has not achieved the necessary profitability to continue its ongoing operations on a standalone basis. The company filed for bankruptcy proceedings with the District Court for the capital city of Warsaw on March 18, 2019.

After exiting China and the Belgian market, New Look continues to review its non-core international markets to ensure that it is well positioned to drive strong business performance and profitable growth.

For its third quarter, New Look group’s underlying operating profit reached 38.5 million pounds compared to underlying operating loss of 5.1 million pounds in the third quarter of FY18. Revenues were down 5 percent to 1,016.1million pounds (1,310.6 million dollars) for the third quarter, which the company said were in line with expectations given focus on driving more profitable sales. New Look brand like-for-like sales were down 2.3 percent compared to a 10.7 percent decline same quarter last year, however, like-for-like sales in the UK were positive at 0.9 percent.

Picture:New Look website

Author: Prachi Singh
Posted: ”19-03-2019”

Destination Maternity Corporation has appointed Lisa Gavales to the board of directors, effective March 18, 2019. The company said in a statement that Gavales brings over 25 years of public and private company leadership experience, with a focus on retail, digital and strategic operations, ecommerce, corporate governance, and marketing. She will be a member of the firm’s nominating & corporate governance committee. The company added that in conjunction with this appointment, current board member Holly Alden has resigned to pursue other interests.

Commenting on Gavales’ appointment, Anne-Charlotte Windal, Destination Maternity’s Independent Chair of the board of directors, said: “We are very pleased to welcome Lisa to our board of directors and look forward to benefiting from her strong operational leadership experience and background in brand building, digital and ecommerce. We would also like to thank Holly for her many contributions to Destination Maternity’s ongoing transformation.”

Gavales has served interim leadership positions for Bluestem Brands since October 2017, first as president of its Northstar portfolio and since February 2018 as interim CEO. Before Bluestem, she was chairman, chief executive officer and president of Things Remembered. Prior to that, she served as president and chief marketing officer of Talbots. Before joining Talbots in 2013, Gavales was executive vice president, chief marketing officer and chief digital officer at Express and also started Express.com.

“I am honoured to join the Destination Maternity board of directors and to work with an exceptional company at such an exciting point in its growth trajectory,” added Gavales.

Earlier in her career, Gavales spent over a decade at Bloomingdale’s, where she held a variety of positions including general merchandise manager and senior vice president of marketing and was responsible for the launch of Bloomingdales.com. She currently also sits on the boards of Bluestem, True Religion, and Goodwill of Greater Cleveland.

Picture:Facebook/A Pea in the Pod

Author: Prachi Singh
Posted: ”19-03-2019”

British fashion and lifestyle brand Jack Wills has appointed Claire Wain as its chief financial officer.

Wain, who currently holds the same role at UK fashion retailer Jigsaw, will report to Jack Wills CEO Suzanne Harlow when she joins the company in April. Prior to working at Jigsaw, Wain was director of group finance at Mothercare and held various financial roles at the John Lewis Partnership.

“I am delighted that Claire will be joining us as CFO. She has an impressive background within the retail sector and I am looking forward to working with her as we continue to restore the business to profitable growth,” Suzanne Harlow, CEO of Jack Wills, said in a statement. “This appointment is further evidence of Jack Wills strengthening its team to ensure we have the very best people taking us forward.”

Wain added: “I’m delighted to be joining Jack Wills at such an exciting time for the business, and look forward to working with Suzanne, Blue Gem and the newly formed management team in maximising the potential of such an iconic British heritage brand as it continues to push forward on its turnaround journey and return to profitability.”

Author: Huw Hughes
Posted: ”18-03-2019”