US: Liz Claiborne cuts forecasts after mixed Q4
Apparel group Liz Claiborne reported a mixed fourth quarter of direct-to-consumer comparable sales, with December impacted by bad weather, especially in Europe.
Three of the company’s five main brands posted comparable sales declines in December: Juicy Couture fell 5%, Lucky Brand declined 13% and Mexx Europe slumped by 16%.
However, Kate Spade was up 51% and Mexx Canada edged up 2%, the company said.
That left Juicy Couture with a 1% sales increase in the fourth quarter, Kate Spade up 44%, Lucky Brand down 10%, Mexx Europe down 7% and Mexx Canada up 4%.
The results led Liz Claiborne to downgrade its outlook for the increase in second half operating income from US$80m to $40-50m.
“Direct-to-consumer comparable sales in October and November were close to plan overall,” said William McComb, company CEO.
“However, reduced traffic – impacted in part by weather-related issues, especially in Europe – fashion misses in certain product categories, and a highly competitive promotional environment, resulted in comparable sales and gross profit in December at Juicy Couture, Lucky Brand and Mexx Europe that were clearly disappointing.”
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