US women's wear retailer Christopher & Banks has lifted its fourth-quarter comparable sales guidance as it continues to make progress with ongoing restructuring efforts.

The company, which returned to profit during its third quarter, said it expects comparable store sales to increase in the high teens for the quarter to 2 February, compared to previous guidance of high single to low double rise.

CEO and president LuAnn Via said: "We are pleased with the improvement we have seen in comparable store sales, which is further evidence of the progress we are making in our turnaround strategy."

In November, Christopher & Banks returned to profit by posting third-quarter net income of US$3.6m, compared to a $13.7m loss the prior year. Losses mounted in the third quarter of last year because merchandise was priced too high, the group admitted. 

The news followed the retailer's announcement that it would cut its average prices by approximately 20% after it was forced to shutter underperforming stores and axe jobs in the later part of 2011. 

Show the press release

 

Christopher & Banks Corporation Updates Fourth Quarter Fiscal 2012 Guidance

MINNEAPOLIS--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Christopher & Banks Corporation (NYSE: CBK), a specialty women’s apparel retailer, today announced that, based upon sales to-date, the Company now expects to report a comparable store sales increase in the high teens for the fourth fiscal quarter as compared to the Company’s previous guidance of a comparable store sales increase in the high single to low double digits. The Company also announced that it expects cash and cash equivalents at the end of the fourth fiscal quarter (February 2, 2013) to be in the range of $37 million to $38 million.

“We are pleased with the improvement we have seen in comparable store sales, which is further evidence of the progress we are making in our turnaround strategy.”

The Company also reiterated its previous guidance that it expects:

  • merchandise margins in the fourth fiscal quarter to exceed those in the comparable period last year, but to be seasonally lower than the third fiscal quarter, consistent with the Company’s historical performance;
  • 400 to 500 basis points of positive leverage of occupancy expense for the 14-weeks ended February 2, 2013 when compared to the comparable prior year period, based on store closings and rent restructurings; and
  • SG&A expenses for the fourth fiscal quarter, a 14-week period, to be in the range of $36 million to $37 million.

LuAnn Via, President and Chief Executive Officer, stated, “We are pleased with the improvement we have seen in comparable store sales, which is further evidence of the progress we are making in our turnaround strategy.”

Further commentary on the Company’s fourth fiscal quarter and fiscal year-end will be provided as part of the fourth quarter earnings release and conference call currently scheduled for March 13, 2013.

About Christopher & Banks

Christopher & Banks Corporation is a Minneapolis-based specialty retailer of women’s clothing. As of January 15, 2013, the Company operates 623 stores in 44 states consisting of 379 Christopher & Banks stores, 165 stores in their women’s plus size clothing division CJ Banks, 54 dual stores and 25 outlet stores. The Company also operates the www.ChristopherandBanks.com and www.CJBanks.com e-commerce websites.

 

Original source: http://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20130115006478/en/Christopher-Banks-Corporation-Updates-Fourth-Quarter-Fiscal