Stage Stores, Inc. (NYSE: SSI) today reported comparable sales for the holiday period. For the nine-week period ended January 4, 2020, comparable sales increased 1.4% as compared to the nine-week period ended January 5, 2019.1 For the 48-week year to date period, comparable sales increased 4.2%.
Michael Glazer, President and Chief Executive Officer, commented, "While our positive comparable sales for the holidays did not meet expectations, we remain confident that our off-price strategy will lead to profitable growth in the future. Holiday comparable sales were primarily impacted by lower pre-conversion department store sales relative to our projections, and by the warmer holiday season. We now expect fiscal 2019 comparable sales in the range of 4.0% to 4.5%. In January, comparable sales are off to a strong start, with the first week increasing double digits.
In response to the holiday sales performance, we implemented incremental promotional efforts in the fourth quarter to ensure appropriate inventory levels as we enter fiscal 2020. As a result, we now expect full year 2019 earnings to be approximately $25 million to $30 million below the low end of the previously announced guidance range."
About Stage Stores
Stage Stores, Inc. is a leading retailer of trend-right, name-brand values for apparel, accessories, cosmetics, footwear and home goods. As of January 13, 2020, the company operates in 42 states through 611 BEALLS, GOODY'S, PALAIS ROYAL, PEEBLES, and STAGE specialty department stores and 158 GORDMANS off-price stores, as well as an e-commerce website at www.stage.com. For more information about Stage Stores, visit the company’s website at corporate.stage.com.
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1 Historically, comparable sales have included dedicated ecommerce stores associated with the distribution centers that fulfilled orders. As part of the company’s transformation to off-price, the distribution centers are no longer fulfilling orders and the associated stores are being treated as closed for purposes of calculating comparable sales. Additionally, based on the pivot to Gordmans off-price stores, the company is no longer including dropship sales from its transactional department store site in the comparable sales calculation.