In the latest first-quarter filings from US apparel and footwear brands and retailers, the impact of the global coronavirus pandemic and widespread store closures can be clearly seen. VF Corp has reported a net loss of US$285.6m, while Francesca’s has seen a 50% drop in net sales. Elsewhere, Macy’s, Inc said its net loss totalled $3.58bn and PVH Corp has posted an “unprecedented” decline in revenue and earnings.

VF Corp

Apparel giant VF Corp said revenue decreased 48% in the first quarter to US$1.1bn, driven by store closures and lower consumer demand as a result of the Covid-19 outbreak and related government actions and regulations. International revenue decreased 39%, while sales in Europe were down 48%. Greater China revenue was flat, including an increase of 5% in Mainland China. Direct-to-consumer revenue tumbled by 37%, while digital revenue soared 78%. Net loss for the three months to the end June, meanwhile, amounted to $285.6m, compared to net income of $49.2m in the prior year period. Gross margin decreased 340 basis points to 52.9%, primarily driven by elevated promotional activity to clear excess inventory, partially offset by favorable mix shift toward higher margin businesses. On an adjusted basis, gross margin decreased 220 basis points to 54.1%.

While VF did not provide financial outlook for full-year fiscal 2021, it said second-quarter revenues are expected to be down less than 25% and full-year fiscal 2021 free cash flow is still expected to exceed $600m.

Francesca’s Holdings Corporation 

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Francesca’s reported a 50% drop in net sales to US$43.8m from $87.1m for the first quarter ended 2 May, primarily due to mandated boutique closures amid the Covid-19 pandemic. This decrease was partially offset by strong performance in e-commerce as all of the company’s efforts subsequent to 25 March were focused on driving e-commerce sales during the temporary boutique closure period. Net loss for the period was $15.3m, compared to prior year quarter net loss of $10.1m. Excluding the non-cash impairment charges and income tax benefit related to the net operating loss carryback provision under the CARES Act, adjusted net loss was $28.4m, compared to $8.2m a year ago. Gross loss, as a percent of sales, was -6.6% as compared to gross profit, as a percentage of sales, of 34.8% in the prior year quarter. The company permanently closed eight boutiques during the first quarter, bringing the total boutique count to 703 at the end of the quarter.

For the second quarter ending 1 August, net sales are expected to be in the range of $67-$71m, assuming a comparable sales decrease of 16% to 11%. Gross margin pressure is expected to accelerate due to more aggressive promotions as the company continues to move through the remainder of excess inventory as well as the generally challenging retail environment. Loss from operations is expected to be in the range of $23-$21m.

J.Jill Inc

US women’s apparel brand J.Jill Inc said total net sales for the 13 weeks ended 2 May decreased US$85.5m to $91m from $176.5m last year. Direct to consumer net sales represented 61.4% of total net sales, compared to 41.9% in the first quarter of fiscal 2019. Net loss amounted to $70.3m, compared to income of $4.4m a year ago, while gross margin narrowed to 55.1% from 65.9% in the prior-year period. The company did not provide financial guidance but said it expects to close 11 stores in fiscal 2020, the majority of which will close in the second quarter, and plans to end the year with 275 stores.

Macy’s Inc

Macy’s Inc has reported a net loss of US$3.58bn for the first quarter ended 2 May, compared to net income of $136m last year. The company recognised pre-tax, non-cash goodwill and long-lived asset impairment charges of $3.1bn and $80m, respectively, during the 13 weeks. Adjusted net loss totalled $630m, compared to adjusted net income of $137m a year prior. Net sales, meanwhile, were $3.02bn, compared to $5.5bn last year. “The first quarter of 2020 was challenging for the country, the industry, and Macy’s, Inc. While our stores are re-opened, we expect that the Covid-19 pandemic will continue to impact the country for the remainder of the year. We do not anticipate another full shutdown, but we are staying flexible and are prepared to address increases in cases on a regional level,” said CEO Jeff Gennette.

The department store retailer is axing a further 3,900 corporate and management jobs as it tries to bring costs in line with falling sales.

Stein Mart

Stein Mart said net loss for the first quarter of 2020 was US$65.7m, compared to net income of $4m in the prior-year period. First-quarter 2020 results include non-cash pre-tax asset impairment charges of $10.3m. Net sales, meanwhile, tumbled 57% to $134.3m from $314.2m last year. Omni sales for the first quarter increased 17% over last year. In April, omni sales were 47% higher than last year driven by fulfillment from closed stores where allowed. Gross margin was -7.5% compared to 27.8% in the comparable period last year. 

In June, Stein Mart raised “substantial doubt” about its ability to survive over the next 12 months and said it is considering a number of options, including a sale of the company, after the Covid-19 pandemic hit operational results and cash flow.

Designer Brands Inc

Designer Brands Inc, formerly known as DSW, has booked a 44.7% tumble in net sales to US$482.8m from $873.3m a year ago. Comparable sales decreased by 42.3% compared to a 3% increase last year. Reported net loss amounted to $215.9m, including pre-tax charges totaling $112.3m, primarily related to impairment charges, integration and restructuring expenses and Covid-19 incremental costs, partially offset by governmental credits the company is able to claim. This compares to net income of $31.2m in the prior-year period. Adjusted net loss was $131.8m. As of 18 June, the company has reopened approximately 90% of its total store base. It expects to have nearly all North American stores open by the end of June. 

Vince Holding Corp

Reporting its preliminary figures for the first quarter ended 2 May, Vince Holding Corp said net sales decreased 47.3% to US$39m from $74m a year ago, with Vince brand net sales down 47.7% to $28.8m. Vince brand direct-to-consumer segment sales declined 34.9% to $18.1m, while Rebecca Taylor and Parker net sales fell 45.8% to $10.2m. Gross margin narrowed to 41% from 51.2% of net sales, in the first quarter of fiscal 2019, primarily due to year-over-year adjustments to inventory reserves, increased promotional activity, and deleveraging of supply chain costs. This was partially offset by lower sales allowances and a channel mix shift at the Vince brand. Loss from operations was $21.9m, compared to loss from operations of $6.2m in the same period last year, which does not include the non-cash impact of goodwill and intangible asset impairment charges, long-lived asset or other finite-lived intangible asset impairment charges that are expected to be material.

The Children’s Place

The Children’s Place said net sales decreased 38.1% to US$255.2 in the three months ended 2 May from $412.4m a year ago, primarily as a result of temporary store closures related to the Covid-19 pandemic. Net loss was $114.8m, compared to net income of $4.5m last year. Adjusted net loss was $28.6m, compared to adjusted net income of $5.8m in the comparable period last year. CEO Jane Elfers said quarter-to-date, the firm’s consolidated sales are up positive low double-digits, with online demand up 300%, while approximately 95% of its stores remain closed. 

In addition, the retailer has marked 300 stores for closure over the next 20 months.

PVH Corp

Apparel giant PVH Corp has reported an “unprecedented” decline in revenue and earnings, including US$962m of pre-tax non-cash impairment charges for the first quarter of 2020 amid the Covid-19 pandemic. Revenue for the period ended 3 May, decreased 43% to $1.34bn compared to the prior-year period. PVH said the decline was due to a 39% decrease in the Tommy Hilfiger business, including a 51% fall in Tommy Hilfiger North America and a 32% decrease in Tommy Hilfiger International; a 46% decline at Calvin Klein, including a 54% decrease in Calvin Klein North America and a 40% decrease in Calvin Klein International; and a 47% fall in the Heritage Brands business. First-quarter revenue reflected a 47% increase in sales through the company’s directly operated digital commerce businesses driven by strong growth in all regions. The company reported a net loss of $1.1bn, from net income of $82m a year ago. PVH said the pandemic will continue to have a significant impact on the second quarter and full-year 2020 results, adding it expects that its revenue decline in the second quarter will be “more pronounced” than in the first quarter.

Tailored Brands

Announcing select preliminary financial metrics for the first quarter ended 2 May, Tailored Brands said net sales were down 60.4% to US$286.7m due to the Covid-19 pandemic. As a percent of sales, gross margin was 10.4%. Excluding occupancy costs, gross margin was 45.6% of sales, down from 56.4% last year on an adjusted basis, primarily reflecting a lower mix of rental product versus clothing sales, procurement and distribution cost deleverage, lower alterations margin and lower clothing selling margin. The company reported total retail comparable sales up 2.4% and all brands positive in February before the pandemic unfavorably impacted the business.  

The menswear retailer has said it may need to seek bankruptcy protection or discontinue operations if its business continues to be impacted by the Covid-19 crisis.

Guess, Inc

Guess has widened its GAAP net loss in the first quarter of fiscal 2021 to U$157.7m from $21.4m a year ago. Adjusted net loss was $118.9m, compared to $19.6m last year. Total net revenue for the three months to 2 May, meanwhile, tumbled 51.5% to $260.3m from $536.7m in the same prior-year quarter. In constant currency, net revenue decreased by 50.1%. Americas retail revenues decreased 57.7% in US dollars and 57.4% in constant currency, while those in Europe fell 49.3% in US dollars and 47.4% in constant currency. Asia revenues were down 52.6% in US dollars and 50.6% in constant currency.

Chico’s FAS

Chico’s FAS reported a net loss of US$178.3m for the 13 weeks to 2 May, compared to net income of $2m in the prior-year period. Net sales were $280.3m, compared to $517.7m in last year’s first quarter. Chico’s said the decrease of 45.9% reflects the impact of its closed stores during the second half of the first quarter and 78 net store closures since last year’s first quarter, partially offset by strong digital commerce performance. During the initial four weeks of fiscal 2020, the company’s comparable sales increased 2.7% compared to the same period last year, building on the positive sales momentum reported in the fourth quarter of fiscal 2019. Gross margin was -4% of net sales, compared to 36.9% of net sales in last year’s first quarter. Chico’s said the decline primarily reflects the impact of significant charges of $64m, or 22.8%, related to inventory write-offs and store impairments, as well as deleverage of occupancy costs as a percent of sales as April rent was expensed in the first quarter for accounting purposes, although the April rent payment was suspended.

Oxford Industries, Inc

Oxford Industries said consolidated net sales decreased 43% to US$160m in the first quarter ended 2 May, compared to$282m the first quarter last year. On 17 March, the company temporarily closed all of its retail stores and restaurants in North America.  Retail, wholesale, and restaurant sales were 58%, 52%, and 50% lower, respectively. These reductions were partially offset by 12% growth in e-commerce. Gross margin was 58.7% compared to 58.8% last year. Expanded gross margin at Lilly Pulitzer and the benefit of LIFO accounting were offset by lower gross margin in the other businesses. The company swung to a net loss of $66.8m, from a net income of $21.7m a year ago.


Genesco said net sales for the first quarter ended 2 May decreased 44% to US$279.2m from $495.7m a year ago. The decline was driven by the closure of stores for the back half of the first quarter as a result of the Covid-19 global pandemic, lower wholesale sales, and lower exchange rates, partially offset by digital comp growth of 64%. Gross margin fell 640 basis points to 43% from 49.4% last year, primarily due to higher shipping and warehouse expense in all divisions driven by the increase in penetration of e-commerce and an increase in inventory reserves at Journeys, higher penetration of sale product at Schuh, and more markdowns at Johnston & Murphy. Net loss in the period totalled $134.8m, compared to net income of $6.4m in the prior-year quarter. 


Zumiez’s total net sales were down 35.3% for the first quarter ended 2 May to US$137.8m from $212.9m last year. Net loss in the period amounted to $21.1m, compared to net income of $0.8m in the first quarter of the prior fiscal year. The company said total net sales in May were down 8.6% for the four-week period, compared to an increase of 2.6% for the same month last year, primarily based on closures continuing into May with some areas not expected to open until June, offset by better than expected results in stores open and e-commerce demand. Comparable store sales for locations opened in May as well as e-commerce traffic increased 79.6%. By channel, open store comparable sales were 38.5% and e-commerce sales were 181.6% in May. 


Footwear retailer Caleres has posted net sales of US$397.2m for the first quarter ended 4 May, compared to $677.8m last year. Famous Footwear total sales of $191.3m were down 45.7% with same-store-sales up 12.8% through mid-March, and up 12.6% for the entire quarter. Brand Portfolio sales, meanwhile, were down 36.3% to $217.2m. Net loss for the quarter amounted to $345.8m, compared to net income of $9.1m in the first quarter of fiscal 2019. Adjusted net loss was $50.4m, compared to an adjusted net income of $15m a year ago. Gross margin was 30.7% and adjusted gross margin was 39.5%, excluding additional markdowns associated with Covid-19.

The Cato Corporation 

Cato Corp has reported net loss of US$28.4m for the first quarter ended 2 May, compared to net income of $21.3m last year. Sales in the period tumbled 57% to $98.8m from $228.1m in the prior year. The company’s same-store sales for the quarter decreased by 56% to last year. Gross margin declined 24.9% to 15.4% of sales in the quarter, due to a reduction in merchandise contribution, combined with the effects of deleveraging resulting from the sales decline related to the store closures. 


Consolidated net sales at fashion apparel retailer Express more than halved in the first quarter ended 2 May, tumbling 53% to US$210.3m from $451.3m last year. Gross margin was -22% of net sales compared to 27.1% in last year’s first quarter, with the decline driven by the sales impact from Covid-19, higher valuation reserves related to inventory and certain fabric commitments, and a $14.7m non-cash impairment charge taken against certain long-lived store assets. Net loss widened to $154.1m from $9.9m in the first quarter of 2019. On an adjusted basis, net loss was $99.4m.

American Eagle Outfitters

American Eagle Outfitters, Inc (AEO) has posted a net loss of US$257.16m for the first quarter ended 2 May, compared to net income of $40.75m in the prior-year period. Gross margin rate narrowed to 5.1% from 36.7% last year. The gross profit dollar decline primarily reflected the reduction in store revenue, markdowns and promotions to clear through AE spring and summer goods, and $60m in inventory provisions. The company also experienced buying, occupancy and warehousing pressure as a rate to revenue, due to the sales decline. Total net revenue, meanwhile, tumbled $335m, or 38%, to $552m from $886m a year ago. By brand, American Eagle revenue decreased 45%, following a 5% increase last year. Aerie’s revenue decreased by 2%, following a 28% increase last year. The company’s digital demand, as measured by ordered sales, increased 33%. Aerie rose 75%, while AE was up 15%. First-quarter digital reported revenue was up 9%, reflecting strong demand, partly offset by temporary delays in fulfillment that led to higher than normal distribution centre backlogs. The company has since reduced backlogs from mid-April peaks.

Tilly’s, Inc

Tilly’s has posted a US$53m, or 40.7%, drop in total net sales to $77.3m for the first quarter ended 2 May. This compares to net sales of $130.3m in the prior-year period.  All stores remained closed to the public for the final 45 days of the 91-day fiscal quarter, including during the peak weeks of the quarter surrounding normal school spring breaks and Easter. Net sales from physical stores were $47m, a decrease of 57.5% compared to $110.6m a year ago. The company’s e-commerce business continued to operate throughout the first quarter and increased “significantly” following the store closures. Net sales from e-commerce totalled $30.3m, an increase of 54.2% on last year. Net loss was $17.4m, compared to net income of $0.7m last year. Product margins decreased 770 basis points as a percentage of net sales primarily due to an estimated inventory valuation reserve of $4.7m and increased markdowns.

Lands’ End

Reporting its preliminary financial results for the first quarter ended 1 May, Lands’ End said strong revenue and profit trends were disrupted by mid-quarter effects of Covid-19. Net revenue decreased 17.3% in the period to US$217m from $262.4m in the first quarter last year. US e-commerce net revenue declined 16.5% for the first quarter, while international e-commerce net revenue remained approximately flat. Company-operated stores achieved comparable store sales growth of 14.2% in February before closing mid-March. Net loss amounted to $20.6m as compared to $6.8m in the first quarter of fiscal 2019. Gross margin decreased by approximately 230 basis points to 43.4% as compared to 45.7% last time, primarily in response to additional promotional activity throughout the industry and additional inventory reserves.

The company provided guidance for the second quarter but noted the estimates do not incorporate a potential second wave or additional government-mandated closures. Net revenue is expected to decline in the mid to high single digits as compared to the same period last year assuming high single-digit growth year over year in its global e-commerce business; retail stores to reopen by the end of June; five new store openings by the end of July; and a decline in the retail and Outfitters businesses. Gross margin pressure is also expected to continue into the second quarter due to an aggressive promotional environment.

Dick’s Sporting Goods 

Dick’s Sporting Goods reported a consolidated net loss for the first quarter to 2 May of US$143.4m, compared to net income of $57.5m in the prior-year period. The company incurred approximately $62m of pre-tax expenses during the current quarter, including $34m of teammate compensation and safety costs and $28m of inventory write-downs. Net sales decreased 30.6% to $1.33bn, while consolidated same-store sales were down 29.5%, driven by temporary store closures that started on 18 March to help prevent the spread of Covid-19.  First-quarter 2019 consolidated same-store sales were flat. E-commerce sales, however, surged 110%, including curbside contactless pickup. E-commerce penetration for the first quarter was approximately 39% of total net sales, compared to about 13% last year. Following the company’s temporary store closures through the end of the first quarter of 2020, e-commerce sales increased 210%.

Dick’s Sporting Goods said through the first four weeks of the second quarter, with 44% of its stores remaining closed on average, consolidated same-store sales decreased 4%. As of 30 May, the company has reopened 80% of its stores. 

Burlington Stores

Burlington Stores CEO Michael O’Sullivan said despite the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic and the fact the firm’s stores have been closed since 22 March, the company ended the first quarter in a “strong” financial and cash position. Total sales for the 13-week period ended 2 May, decreased 51% to $798m. All of the company’s stores were closed by the end of business on 22 March and remained closed through the end of the first quarter. Net loss totalled $334m, compared to net income of $78m for the first quarter last year. Adjusted net loss amounted to $312m, compared to net income of $85m last year. Gross margin rate was 2%, compared to last year’s rate of 41%. The decline was driven primarily by a $272m inventory charge against aged inventory due to extended store closures. 


Nordstrom has reported a 40% drop in net sales to US$2.03bn for the first quarter ended 2 May, compared to $3.35bn last year. First-quarter net loss of $521m, which included after-tax charges of $173m related to Covid-19, decreased from net earnings of $37m during the same period in fiscal 2019. In full-price, net sales decreased 36%, while Off-Price net sales dropped by 45% compared with the same period in fiscal 2019 due to temporary store closures beginning 17 March. Total company digital sales grew 5% to reach $1.1bn. Gross profit, as a percentage of net sales, narrowed to 11% from 35% last year due to incremental markdowns to clear excess inventory and deleverage from lower sales volume.

Abercrombie & Fitch Co.

Abercrombie & Fitch has reported a 34% drop in net sales to US$485.4m for the first quarter ended 2 May from $734m in the prior-year period. Net loss attributable to the company for the 13-week period amounted to $244.2m. This compares to a net loss of $19.2m last year. By brand, net sales at Abercrombie were down 30% to $212.4m, while those at Hollister fell 36% to $273m. Digital sales were up 25% in the quarter on last year with acceleration in mid-March through April and further acceleration in May.

Dollar Tree

Consolidated net sales at discounter Dollar Tree increased  8.2% to US$6.29bn from $5.81bn in the prior year’s first-quarter. Enterprise same-store sales increased 7%, while same-store sales for Family Dollar were up 15.5%. Dollar Tree same-store sales decreased by 0.9%. Net income in the period, meanwhile, fell to $247.6m from $267.9m. Gross margin was 28.5% compared to a gross margin of 29.7% in the prior year. The decrease in gross margin was driven by merchandise mix, incremental tariffs of $23m, markdowns related to Easter merchandise, and higher distribution centre payroll costs, partially offset by leverage on occupancy costs from stronger same-store sales.

Dollar General

Dollar General has seen net sales increase by 27.6% to US$8.4bn in the first quarter of 2020 from $6.6n in the prior-year quarter. Same-store sales were up 21.7%, driven by increases in both average transaction amount and customer traffic. Same-store sales increased in each of the consumables, seasonal, home products, and apparel categories, with the largest percentage increase in the home products category. The company said consumer behavior driven by Covid-19 had a significant positive effect on net sales and same-store sales. Net income surged 68% to $650m from $385 last year, while gross margin expanded to 30.7% from 30.2% in the first quarter of 2019, an increase of 49 basis points

Steve Madden

Steve Madden has posted a net loss of US$17.5m for the first quarter ended 31 March, with CEO Edward Rosenfeld noting the company “got off to a good start to 2020” but the business “weakened materially” in March due to the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic. The firm reported net income of $34.5m in the prior-year period. Adjusted net income, meanwhile, was $13m, compared to $35.1m last year. Gross margin narrowed to 37.2% from 38.9%, while revenue decreased 13.6% to $359.2m, compared to $415.8m in the same period of 2019. Revenue for the wholesale business was down 13% to $302.7m, including a 15% decline in wholesale footwear and a 5.4% decline in wholesale accessories/apparel. Retail revenue amounted to $52.9m, a 15.8% fall on last year due to the closure of all stores outside of China as a result of the pandemic. 

The Buckle

Nebraska-based denim specialist The Buckle has reported a net loss for the first quarter of fiscal 2020 of US$11.8m, compared with net income of $15.1m for the first quarter of fiscal 2019. Net sales for the 13-week period ended 2 May, dropped 42.7% to $115.4m from $201.3m for the prior-year quarter. Online sales, meanwhile, grew 31.5% to $32.1m, compared to net sales of $24.4m a year ago.

Foot Locker

Foot Locker’s total first-quarter sales plunged 43.4% to $1,176m, compared to $2,078m in the prior-year period, with comparable-store sales dropping 42.8%. The company swung to a net loss of $98m, from a net income of $172m a year ago. The significant decline in sales due to the Covid-19 related store closures meant gross margin rate fell to 23.0% from 33.2%. The company also said that as of 2 May, its merchandise inventories were $1,458m – 20.4% higher than at the end of the first quarter last year. 

Ross Stores

Discount department store retailer Ross Stores swung to a net loss of $306m for the quarter to 2 May, from a profit of $421m last year. Total first-quarter sales were $1.8bn, a drop of 53% from last year’s $3.8bn. Its Ross Dress for Less and DD’s Discounts stores were open for less than seven weeks of the 13-week period. The results also include a one-time inventory valuation charge of $313m resulting from the extended store closures.

TJX Companies

Off-price apparel and home fashions retailer The TJX Companies said its first-quarter results were hit by the temporary closure of its stores for half of the quarter due to the Covid-19 pandemic. For the three months to 2 May, the company posted a net loss of US$887m, compared to net income of $700.2m in the prior-year period. Net sales more than halved to $4.4bn from $9.3bn. The firm wrote down inventory by $500m as a result of the store closures, noting this was primarily transitional or out of season merchandise, and products already in markdown that are expected to be reduced further. The inventory is expected to be sold in the second quarter when stores reopen.

L Brands

L Brands reported a 37% decline in total company sales to US$1.65bn for the first quarter ended 2 May, compared to sales of $2.63bn in the same period a year ago. Almost all of the company’s stores have been closed since 17 March due to the Covid-19 pandemic. First-quarter comparable group store sales were down 5%. Total Bath & Body Works first-quarter sales in the United States and Canada were $712.7m, compared to $870.7m last year. Sales at the Bath & Body Works direct business, which remained open throughout the quarter, increased by 85% to $288.9m from $156.4m a year ago. Bath & Body Works’ first-quarter store comparable sales increased 20% during the period in which stores were open. For the Victoria’s Secret segment, total first-quarter sales in the United States and Canada decreased 46% to $821.5m. Store comps declined 15% and sales in the direct business also declined 15% to $307.6m, partially driven by the six-day closure of the direct business. During April, when the online business was operational and stores were closed, direct sales increased by 30%. Net loss in the quarter, meanwhile, amounted to $296.9m, compared to net income of $40.3m last year. Adjusted net loss was $275.2m.

In addition, L Brands has outlined plans to shutter about 250 Victoria’s Secret across the US and Canada in 2020 as part of its go-forward plan for the business, which also includes an increased focus on inventory management and sourcing cost reductions.

Shoe Carnival 

Shoe Carnival net sales amounted to US$147.5m for the quarter ended 2 May, a 41.9% decrease compared to net sales of $253.8m for the first quarter of fiscal 2019. The decrease resulted from substantially all stores being closed for approximately 50% of the quarter, offset by increased e-commerce sales. Comparable store sales increased 3.9% through 12 March, prior to when the company began experiencing the effects of Covid-19, but decreased 42.3% for the entirety of the quarter. E-commerce sales surged over 160% for the quarter, and for the time period the brick-and-mortar stores were closed, e-commerce sales increased over 350%. Net loss, meanwhile, amounted to $16.2m. This compares to net income of $13.9m in the prior-year period. Gross profit margin narrowed to 21.3% from 29.6% last year. 

Target Corp

Department store retailer Target Corp said total revenue of US$19.6bn grew 11.3% compared with last year, reflecting sales growth of 11.3% and a 7.7% increase in other revenue. The company’s total comparable sales grew 10.8% in the three months to 2 May, reflecting comparable digital sales growth of 141%. Net earnings amounted to $284m, compared to $795m the prior-year period. First-quarter gross margin rate was 25.1%, compared with 29.6% last time. Target said the decrease reflected the net impact of actions taken by the company’s merchandising teams, including costs and inventory impairments related to the rapid slowdown in apparel and accessories sales, unfavourable category mix as guests stocked up on lower-margin categories like essentials and food and beverage, and higher digital and supply chain costs, driven by unusually strong digital volume as well as investments in team member wages and benefits.

Urban Outfitters, Inc

Urban Outfitters has announced a preliminary net loss of US$138m for the three months ended 30 April. Preliminary gross profit rate decreased to 2% from 31.1% in the prior year’s comparable period due to significant store occupancy deleverage, a meaningful increase in inventory obsolescence reserves, an increase in delivery expense, and an increase in merchandise markdowns. Total company net sales, meanwhile, decreased 31.9% over the same period last year to $588m. Comparable retail segment net sales declined 28%, driven by negative retail store sales due to mandated store closures, partially offset by low double-digit growth in the digital channel. By brand, comparable retail segment net sales fell 19% at Free People, 24% at Urban Outfitters, and 33% at the Anthropologie Group. Total retail segment net sales were down 28%, while wholesale segment net sales tumbled 74%.


US department store retailer Kohl’s has noted a 43.5% drop in first-quarter net sales to US$2.16bn from $3.82bn in the prior-year period. For the three months to 2 May, net loss amounted to $541m, compared to net income of $62m a year ago, while gross margin narrowed to 17.3% from 36.8%. On a non-GAAP basis, adjusted net loss was $495m, compared to an adjusted net income of $98m last time. “We entered the year in a strong financial position and our business was tracking to our expectations prior to the onset of the crisis,” said CEO Michelle Gass.

Meanwhile, Kohl’s is exiting eight “down-trending” womenswear brands as it moves to tighten up its apparel offering.


US retail giant Walmart has reported an increase of US$10.7bn, or 8.6%, in total revenue to US$134.6bn for the first quarter. Excluding currency, total revenue would have increased by 9.7% to reach $135.9bn. Walmart US posted a 10.5% rise in net sales to $88.7m, while US comp sales increased 10% in the quarter. Walmart US e-commerce sales grew 74%. Net sales at Walmart International, meanwhile, were $29.8bn, an increase of 3.4%. Changes in currency rates negatively affected net sales by approximately $1.3bn. Consolidated net income attributable to Walmart increased 3.9% on last year to $3.99bn. Consolidated gross profit rate declined 66 basis points primarily as a result of the carryover of investments in price from last year, a shift in the sales mix to lower-margin categories and channels as well as some markdowns in general merchandise.

Walmart also announced it will discontinue due to what it called the “continued strength of the brand.” It added: “The acquisition of nearly four years ago was critical to accelerating our omni strategy.”

Sequential Brands

Brand management company Sequential Brands Group, Inc has reported a drop in first-quarter net revenue to US$20.2m from $25.5m in the prior-year quarter. For the three months ended 31 March, on a GAAP basis, loss from continuing operations totalled $85.3m, compared to loss from continuing operations for the first quarter 2019 of $4.8m. Included in the net loss from continuing operations for the first quarter 2020 were non-cash impairment charges of $85.6m for indefinite-lived intangible assets related to the trademarks for the Jessica Simpson, Gaiam, Joe’s and Ellen Tracy brands reflecting the financial impacts of Covid-19. Net loss, meanwhile, was $86.6m, compared to $125.4m last year. 


Dillard’s reported a net loss for the 13 weeks ended 2 May of US$162m, compared to net income of $78.6m for the prior-year first quarter. The company expects to be in a net operating loss position for the fiscal year. Net sales fell to $786.7m from $1.47bn last year. Net sales includes the operations of the company’s construction business, CDI Contractors, LLC (CDI). Total retail sales, which excludes CDI, decreased 47% to $751m from $1.42bn last year. Retail gross margin narrowed to 12.8% from 37.8% last time.

Iconix Brand Group

For the first quarter ended 31 March, Iconix Brand Group has posted total revenue of US$28m, a 22% decline, compared to $35.9m in the first quarter of 2019. Revenue across all segments was negatively impacted by the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic on the global economy. The firm said a 23% decrease in revenue in its women’s segment was principally as a result of a decrease in licensing revenue from the Mudd brand. Revenue from the men’s segment, meanwhile, declined 38% from $10.9m in the prior-year quarter to $6.8m mainly due to a decrease in licensing revenue from the Buffalo and Umbro brands. International segment revenue declined 12% mainly due to decreases in Latin America and Europe. GAAP net income attributable to Iconix for the first quarter of 2020 reflected a loss of $21.5m, compared to income of $17.9m for the first quarter of 2019.

Under Armour

US sportswear brand Under Armour has booked a net loss of US$589.7m for the first quarter ended 31 March, compared to net income of $22.5m in the prior-year period. Adjusted net loss was $152m. The company cited restructuring and impairment charges of $436m in the period. Revenue, meanwhile, was down 23% to $930m, down 22% currency-neutral, with approximately 15 percentage points of the decline related to Covid-19 pandemic impacts in the quarter. North America revenue decreased 28% to $609m, while and revenue from the firm’s international business was down 12% to $287m, representing 31% of total revenue. Within the international business, revenue increased 3% in EMEA, decreased 34% in Asia-Pacific, and increased 8% in Latin America. Apparel revenue fell 23% in the period to $598m, while footwear sales were down 28% on last year to $210m. Accessories revenue decreased 17%. Gross margin expanded 110 basis points to 46.3% compared to the prior year driven primarily by channel mix which benefitted from lower off-price sales, partially offset by the negative impacts from Covid-19 related discounting and changes in foreign currency.

Kontoor Brands

Kontoor Brands, the owner of iconic denim brands Wrangler and Lee, said Covid-19 had a “significant” impact on first-quarter 2020 revenue, as sales decreased to US$504m, a 22% year-over-year decline on a reported and constant currency basis. Compared with first-quarter 2019 adjusted revenue, revenue for the period ended 28 March 2020, declined 20% or 19% on a constant currency basis. Wrangler brand global revenue fell to $303m, an 18% decline on a reported and constant currency basis, while brand global revenue at Lee was down 24% on a reported and constant currency basis to $183m. Meanwhile, Kontoor Brands reported a net loss of $2.7m in the period, compared to net income of $15.4m a year ago. Gross margin decreased 30 basis points to 37.8% on a reported basis. On an adjusted basis, gross margin decreased 320 basis points to 38%. Decreases were primarily driven by increased inventory provisions, which contributed approximately 340 basis points of the decline. Geographic mix also contributed 210 basis points to the decline, which was adversely impacted by lower revenues generated in international markets, particularly in China. An additional 40 basis points of the decline was due to proactive production adjustments, including downtime in some manufacturing facilities to align production with near-term demand.

Wolverine Worldwide

Wolverine Worldwide CEO Blake Krueger said following record financial results in the final quarter of 2019, the company delivered “strong” first-quarter earnings results, despite challenging conditions caused by the Covid-19 pandemic late in the quarter. For the period ended 28 March, net earnings amounted to US$12.8m, compared to $40.6m last year. Reported revenue was $439.3m, down 16.1% versus the prior year. On a constant currency basis, revenue was down 15.6%, while owned e-commerce growth for the quarter was 17.5%. Reported gross margin, meanwhile, was 41.4%, compared to 42.1% in the prior year, in line with expectations.

Weyco Group, Inc

Footwear maker Weyco has cited “significant disruptions” beginning in the second half of March 2020 due to the unprecedented conditions surrounding the Covid-19 pandemic. Government-mandated shutdowns of non-essential businesses worldwide resulted in lower first-quarter sales and earnings across all of the company’s businesses, with Weyco expecting the shutdowns and global economic slowdown caused by the pandemic to continue to adversely impact its businesses during 2020. Net sales for the period ended 31 March were US$63.6m, down 14% compared to first quarter 2019 net sales of $74.1m. Net earnings fell to $1.2m from $4m last year.

Carter’s, Inc

Carter’s CEO Michael Casey said the global Covid-19 pandemic began to impact the company’s performance in March and will weigh on the growth it had planned this year. For the first quarter ended 28 March, Carter’s reported a net loss of US$78.7m, compared to net income of $34.5m in the prior-year period. First-quarter fiscal 2020 results included after-tax charges of $42.2m in inventory provisions (principally related to Covid-19 excess inventory), a $17.7m goodwill impairment charge, and a $20.2mn tradename impairment charge. The results also include a total of $6m in after-tax charges related to Covid-19 expenses and organisational restructurings. Adjusted net loss was $34.8m, compared to adjusted net income of $39.6m a year ago. Net sales, meanwhile, decreased $86.6m, or 11.7%, to $654.5m, reflecting store closures in North America and lower wholesale customer demand as a result of the pandemic. Changes in foreign currency exchange rates in the first quarter of fiscal 2020 did not meaningfully affect first-quarter results.

Columbia Sportswear

Net sales at Columbia Sportswear decreased 13% on last year to US$568.2m for the three months ended 31 March. Net income declined 100% to $0.2m from $74.2m for the comparable period in 2019, while gross margin contracted 360 basis points to 47.8% from 51.4% last year. “First quarter results largely reflect the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic, which escalated throughout the quarter as the global effort to contain the pandemic unfolded,” said CEO Tim Boyle. The firm added lower consumer demand related to the crisis began to impact financial performance in China in late January, Korea and Japan in early February and North America and Europe in March. Retail traffic trends declined across North America and Europe in early March, prior to store closures which began in mid-March.


Underwear and activewear maker HanesBrands has reported first-quarter results it said were “significantly affected” by the Covid-19 pandemic. “Prior to the pandemic’s late-quarter disruption of economies around the world, the company experienced strong revenue and profit trends. In the last two weeks of the quarter, the company experienced an unprecedented drop in sales and profit,” Hanes said in its earnings statement. It estimates the late-quarter impact of the pandemic reduced revenue by approximately US$181m, operating profit by about $86m, and EPS by approximately $0.20. 

For the period ended 28 March, the firm reported a net loss of $7.87m, compared to net income of $81.09m in the prior-year quarter. Net sales, meanwhile, were down 17.1% to $1.32bn from $1.59bn last time. Hanes said the year-ago quarter included net sales of $94m from the now exited C9 Champion mass programme and the DKNY intimate apparel license. Excluding the exited programmes, the impact of Covid-19, and foreign exchange rates, total constant-currency net sales for the first-quarter 2020 would have increased by 1.6%. International segment sales declined 14%, while net sales for the innerwear segment were down 11% on last year. US activewear segment first-quarter sales decreased 29%.

Rocky Brands, Inc

Rocky Brands has booked a decline in profit and sales for the first quarter ended 31 March. Net sales in the period fell to US$55.7m from $65.9m last year, with retail sales up 9.4% to $16.9m, compared to $15.4m for the same period last year. Net income was $1.2m, compared to $3.6m in the first quarter of 2019. Adjusted net income, which excludes expenses related to the closure of the company’s manufacturing facilities due to Covid-19, was $2m. Gross margin narrowed to 34.7% from 34.9% for the same period last year, while adjusted gross margin was 36.4%. The 150 basis point increase in adjusted gross margin was driven primarily by higher percentage of retail sales, which carry higher gross margins than wholesale and military sales, partially offset by lower wholesale and military margins.

Skechers USA

Casual footwear brand Skechers USA had been on track for a new first-quarter sales record. However, significantly reduced economic activity in China after January, and the spread of the Covid-19 pandemic around the rest of the world in March, meant sales fell 2.7% in the first quarter to US$1.24bn. International sales for the three months to 31 March were down 6.8%, while the company’s domestic business saw a rise of 2.9%. On a constant currency basis, total sales dropped 1.2%. Comparable same-store sales fell 8.1%, including a decline of 4.7% in the US and 16.6% internationally, reflecting the closure of most company-owned stores in mid-March. Net earnings tumbled by more than 50% to $49.1m from $108.8m a year ago, while gross margin dropped 220 basis points. Gross profit was hit by a one-time, non-cash purchase price adjustment of about $8m related to the acquisition of the company’s stake in its Mexico joint venture in 2019. 

“We know from the triple-digit growth we are experiencing so far in this month in our e-commerce business, and the positive sales trajectory of our recovering business in China, that Skechers’ product continues to resonate with consumers,” said CEO Robert Greenberg. 

Crocs, Inc

Crocs CEO Andrew Rees said the footwear firm’s total revenue held up well despite unprecedented market conditions globally. “Exceptional” performance in its Americas and e-commerce businesses was overshadowed by Covid-19 related store closures. Many of the 367 company-operated stores, as well as many partner stores and wholesale customers’ stores, were closed at some point during the first quarter and many remain closed today. Revenues fell 5% year-on-year to US$281.2m in the first quarter, a drop of 3.3% on a constant currency basis. Currency negatively impacted revenues by $5.2m. Wholesale revenues declined 5.6% and retail comparable store sales grew 7.5% with total retail revenues down 15% due to Covid-19 closures. The decline in wholesale and retail are partially offset by e-commerce revenue growth of 15.8%. Net income, meanwhile, more than halved to $11.09m from $24.7m in the prior-year period, but gross margin edged up to 47.7% from 46.5% a year ago. 

Crocs expects a larger decline in second quarter revenues as the majority of its retail and partner stores may be closed for the whole period. It cited some recovery in store traffic and sales in China and Korea where almost all stores are now open but noted declines in Japan, India, and much of Southeast Asia – areas that have been impacted by a second wave of the virus.

Levi Strauss & Co

Jeans giant Levi Strauss & Co reported a rise in both revenue and profit for its first quarter ended 23 February. Net income rose to US$152.69m from $146.58m last year. Gross margin was up 110 basis points to 55.7%. Due to the timing of the company’s fiscal year-end, its fiscal quarter included the benefit of the calendar 2019 Black Friday week. However, the mid-quarter outbreak of Covid-19 adversely impacted net revenues in Asia by an estimated $20m. Net revenues of $1.51bn grew 5% on a reported basis and 6% in constant currency, excluding $11m in unfavourable currency effects. In Europe, net revenues rose 10% on a reported basis and 13% on a constant-currency basis, while in the Americas, net revenues grew 4% on both a reported and on a constant currency basis. In Asia, net revenues fell 2% on a reported basis and 1% in constant currency. Prior to Covid-19, net revenue growth in China was in the double digits, but at the end of the quarter nearly all company-operated owned and franchisee doors in mainland China were closed. Since mid-March, it has temporarily closed all its doors in the Americas and Europe, as well as most doors in Asia outside greater China, Korea, and Japan. The adverse impact to the second-quarter is expected to be significant.