Express reports decrease of 40% in annual sales
Columbus, Ohio-based fashion retailer Express, Inc. announced $1.21 billion in annual sales for 2020 on Wednesday, representing a 40% decline from $2.02 billion in the previous year.
Full-year comparable retail sales, which include both the company’s brick-and-mortar and e-commerce revenues, fell 29% compared to 2019, while comparable outlet sales decreased 21%. Overall, Express’ consolidated annual comparable sales declined 27%.
The retailer’s annual net loss was $405.4 million, or $6.27 per diluted share, widening significantly from a loss of $164.4 million, or $2.49 per diluted share, in the previous year.
Commenting on the results in a release, Express CEO Tim Baxter highlighted the actions taken by the company to mitigate the impact of the Covid-19 crisis, as well as the progress made in its strategic transformation plan, which was first revealed in January 2020, shortly before the pandemic struck the United States.
“Over the past twelve months, we have effectively managed our liquidity while meaningfully advancing the EXPRESSway Forward strategy. We took appropriate action and made progress despite extraordinary circumstances and market conditions,” he explained.
In the fourth quarter ended January 30, 2021, Express posted $430.3 million in net sales, down 29% from $606.7 million in the same period in the previous year. The company’s consolidated comparable sales for the quarter declined 27% compared to the prior-year period, reflecting a 28% decrease in comparable retail sales and a 27% decline in comparable outlet sales.
Nonetheless, due to reduced selling, general and administrative expenses and restructuring costs, and the fact that the previous year’s fourth quarter was negatively impacted by impairment of intangible assets, Express was able to narrow its quarterly loss.
Q4 net loss at the company came to $53.3 million, or $0.82 per diluted share, compared to a loss of $141.6 million, or $2.21 per diluted share, in the fourth quarter of the previous year.
Due to the continued uncertainty surrounding the coronavirus pandemic, Express did not offer a detailed financial outlook for fiscal 2021. The company did, however, say that it expects to see sequential comparable sales improvements throughout the year, as well as a positive EBITDA by the second half.
The retailer also explained that its is in the process of finalizing a strategy aiming to grow its digital channel to $1.0 billion by 2024. The company said that it will reveal specific details about the strategy in the second quarter of 2021.
Express currently operates more than 500 retail and factory outlet stores in the U.S. and Puerto Rico, as well as an e-commerce website.
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