Losses Continue to Mount for Christopher & Banks

Losses Continue to Mount for Christopher & Banks

“Our first quarter results did not reflect the level of improvement we had planned for,” said CEO Keri Jones.

There were a few bright spots in Plymouth-based Christopher & Banks Corp.’s first quarter earnings report, but for the most part, the picture was grim.

The women’s clothing retailer reported a net loss of $6.2 million for the quarter. That compares to a net loss of $5.3 million during the same quarter last year. At the same time, sales fell 3.1 percent year over year to $83.2 million.

In a statement, president and CEO Keri Jones acknowledged that the first quarter results “did not reflect the level of improvement we had planned for.”

Though comparable store sales fell 3.6 percent, e-commerce comparable sales grew 10.7 percent. Jones, a former Target exec, attributed the small gain to an increased focus on “e-commerce capabilities,” including a new program allowing customers to buy online and pick up in store.

Going forward, Christopher & Banks aims to continue expanding its “omni-channel capabilities.” It’s likely that will mean a continued focus on online shopping.

The company also will look for more ways to cut costs. Christopher & Banks is working with a third-party real estate consultant to bring down its occupancy costs, according to a company news release.

In April 2018, the company announced that it reached an agreement to sell and lease back its Plymouth headquarters for $13.65 million.

Christopher & Banks also operates less stores than it used to: A year ago, the company ran 462 stores. During the most recent quarter, that figure dropped to 457.

Though Christopher & Banks continues to struggle, Minneapolis retail titans Best Buy and Target appear to be on the upswing.