Ascena comparable sales slip 2% while restructuring continues to take its toll

Mahwah, New Jersey-based Ascena Retail Group, Inc. reported its results for the second quarter of fiscal 2018 on Monday, with comparable sales faltering in the company’s value and premium fashion.

Ascena suffered from a fall in store footfall in its value fashion segment in the second quarter - Dressbarn
Net loss for the period totaled $39 million compared to $35 million in Q2 2017, while operating loss was $36 million compared to $45 million in the same period in the previous year.
Net sales for the period decreased from $1.748 billion in Q2 2017 to $1.719 billion, largely due to a 2% decline in comparable sales. The company attributed this slump to a fall in store traffic in its value fashion segment and assortment misses in its premium fashion segment, which were partially offset by comparable sales growth in kids fashion, which was in the high single digits.
Both Ascena’s current and prior year results for the period were impacted by the company's Change for Growth restructuring program and also continued to see the effects of charges associated with the acquisition and integration of Ann Inc. completed in 2016.
“While we’ve made significant progress on our enterprise transformation, we must deliver improved top-line performance. We believe we’ve made needed changes in key leadership roles across our brands, and are well positioned to reinvigorate growth from our core”, stated Ascena CEO David Jaffe.
As part of its restructuring program, Ascena has implemented a number of changes in its leadership over the past few months, most recently appointing new presidents at Dressbarn and Lane Bryant.

Other brands in the Ascena portfolio include Ann Taylor, Maurices and Justice.
For the third quarter 2018, the company estimates that operating income will be in the range of $5 to $20 million, while comparable sales will be down between 3% and 5%.

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