• Q3 net loss of $7.3m
  • Sales dip 3%
  • 16 new stores opened


Branded apparel chain Stage Stores has managed to narrow its third quarter net loss despite lower sales during the period.

Net sales in the quarter were $325m compared with $334m in the same period last year.

The company posted a net loss of $7.3m, compared to a net loss of $102.8m for the prior year third quarter.

Last year's third quarter results include a non-cash goodwill impairment charge of $95.4m, the company said.

Andy Hall, president and CEO, said: "We are pleased with our ability to once again manage our business and deliver better than originally expected results. Strong inventory and expense control lead to increases in both our gross margin and SG&A leverage.

"In the quarter, our gross margin rate increased 20 basis points while our SG&A expenses declined by $1.2m, despite operating 27 additional stores.

"While sales were in line with expectations, we are encouraged by the improving same store sales trend throughout the quarter. At quarter end, our balance sheet remains very strong, with same-store inventories down 8%, no borrowings on our $250m revolving credit facility and a reduction in net debt of $97m compared to last year."

During the quarter Stage Stores opened 16 new stores, 13 of which were under the new Goody's nameplate.

The company raised its fourth quarter comparable store sales outlook to a decrease of 4.0% to 7.0% from the decrease of 5.0% to 8.0% provided in August.