Regional department store retailer Stage Stores has reported a deeper first-quarter loss, impacted by a $9.7 million one-off charge and cooler temperatures, which hurt sales of seasonal merchandise.
The company, which operates 872 stores, said net loss widened to $6.9 million for the three months to May 3, from a $400,000 loss last year.
Excluding the one-off charge related to the consolidation of the South Hill, Virginia operations into its Houston headquarters, adjusted net loss was $800,000.
Sales rose 3.5% to $379 million from $366 million in the same period the prior year, while comparable store sales edged up 0.7%. Accessories and home & gifts were among the best performing categories.
“The unseasonably cool weather in March and April, particularly when compared to last year’s warm spring, strongly impacted our sales performance,” said president and CEO Michael Glazer.
“We managed our inventory aggressively and ended the quarter in a clean inventory position. We feel good about our merchandise assortments going into the second quarter.”
In addition, the group said its South Hill consolidation remains on track for a mid-year completion.
“Looking ahead, we remain optimistic about our prospects for the remainder of the year. We believe sales in the second quarter will benefit from pent-up demand for seasonal merchandise as temperatures normalize.
“In addition, our accelerated first quarter clearance cadence, similar to last year’s third quarter, should have a positive impact on our gross margins for the second quarter.”
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