Markdowns Widen Cache 1st Quarter Loss

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New York–Moves to slash inventories ahead of the introduction of its new spring lines have weighed on first-quarter sales and earnings at Caché Inc, but left the specialty chain “in a great position,” the retailer reported last week.

The New York-based operator of 285 stores said net loss widened to $4.1 million or $0.32 per share, from a loss of $1.6 million or $0.12 per share in the same period last year. Net sales for the three months to 3 April fell 8.4% to $48.6 million from $53.0 million, with same-store sales dropping 6.8%.

“Our first quarter results can be attributed to our decision to reduce inventory during January and February, through increased markdowns to expedite the new merchandising initiatives, which caused a significant decline in our merchandise margin for the quarter,” explained chairman and ceo Thomas Reinckens.

But he added: “Our new deliveries which were introduced in March and are reflective of our ongoing direction, were received favourably by our customers, driving positive comparable store sales for the month.”

Moving into the second quarter, the company said the design and quality of its merchandise, coupled with new marketing measures should drive it back into profit.

“Comparable store sales are up in the low single-digit percent range for the first five weeks of the second quarter, with particular strength in our sportswear collection,” Reinckens said.

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