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J. Crew Group cuts loss as Madewell surges

J. Crew Group took a big bite out of its loss in the first quarter thanks to the strong performance of its Madewell brand. But its namesake banner continues to struggle.

The retailer reported a net loss of $33.9 million for the quarter ended May 5, compared to a loss of $121.0 million in the year-ago period. (This year and last year include the impact of non-cash impairment charges, transformation costs, transaction costs and severance costs.)

Total revenues increased 3% to $540.5 million. Madewell sales increased 39% to $115.8 million. J.Crew sales decreased 7% to $391.9 million.

Total same-store sales increased 1%.  Same-store sales skyrocketed 31% at Madewell and were down 6% at J.Crew.

“2018 represents a pivotal year for the Company and we are encouraged by our strong start, delivering a 28% increase in adjusted EBITDA for the first quarter,” said Jim Brett, CEO. “J.Crew brand sales continue to sequentially improve toward positive comp, and Madewell had a record quarter with a 31% comp increase. Most significantly, for the first time since 2014, the company achieved comparable sales growth.”

Brett said the the company going forward will deliver an expanded and enhanced product range and launch a data-driven personalization engine and point-based loyalty program. He also said the J.Crew brand will relaunch in September.

As of May 30, the retailer operates 228 J.Crew retail stores, 121 Madewell stores,,,, and 175 factory stores (including 42 J.Crew Mercantile stores).
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