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Destination Maternity ends year with loss

The nation’s largest maternity store retailer ended its final quarter and year on a down note.

Despite cost-cutting initiatives and a large jump in online sales, Destination Maternity posted a loss in its fourth quarter. The retailer had a net loss of $10.2 million, or $0.73 per share, for the period ended February 3, compared to $32.8 million, or $2.39 per share, for the same period last year.

Net sales totaled $105.1 million compared to $100.2 million for the prior year. Same-store sales rose 5.2%. (There was additional week in the quarter.

For the full year, the company reported a net loss of $21.6 million, compared to a net loss of $32.8 million for fiscal 2016.

Net sales were $406.2 million compared with $433.7 million last year. The sales decrease was primarily driven by the wind down of the company’s relationship with Kohl's, the closure of 28 retail stores, and a 1.5% decline in comparable sales. However, comparable sales across e-commerce was up over 40%, a jump that was driven by “major conversion improvements on all devices, particularly mobile,” according to Melissa Payner-Gregor, the company’s interim CEO.

During the fiscal year, the company also completed a refinancing of its outstanding term loan, a move that will provide more liquidity. The retailer also implemented an internal reorganization and cost cutting initiative late in fiscal 2017, which is expected to produce an annualized savings that will exceed $10 million in fiscal 2018.

The company ended the year with 1,124 stores.
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