Comparable sales were down at Saks Fifth Avenue in Q3

Comparable sales were down at Saks Fifth Avenue in Q3

Canadian retailer Hudson's Bay Company (HBC) has offered an optimistic outlook for the long term, despite moving to a loss in its third-quarter and booking a decline in comparable sales. 

Net losses amounted to US$125m in the three months ended 29 October, compared with earnings of $7m in the prior year period. The current quarter included $3m in net dilution gains related to joint ventures.

Gross profit rate as a percentage of retail sales was maintained at 42.2%, while consolidated retail sales increased 28.6% to $3.3m, primarily as a result of the addition of HBC Europe and Gilt. This offset by a drop in comparable sales of 4%. 

On a constant currency basis, comparable sales were down 2.4% at DSG (Lord & Taylor, Hudson's Bay and Home Outfitters), 2.2% at HBC Europe, 8.4% at HBC Off Price and 4.6% at Saks Fifth Avenue, resulting in a total comparable sales decline of 3.6%. Total digital sales, however, were up 7.3% in the quarter.

"During the third quarter we continued to execute our all channel strategy in the face of a retail environment where there were challenges in the women's apparel, department store and luxury segments," said chairman Richard Baker. "To address this we are continuing to move aggressively, making specific improvements both in our digital and brick and mortar operations that will allow us to better serve our customers."

The company reaffirmed its sales and adjusted EBITDA outlook for fiscal 2016 of $14.5m to $14.9m, and $700m to $785m, respectively.

Last month Hudson's Bay opened a new $60m state-of-the-art robotic fulfilment system at its Scarborough Distribution Centre, which it says will enable the company to deliver orders three times faster than distribution centres using the next-best robotic technology.

Hudson's Bay opens $60m robotic distribution centre