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03/22/2022

J.Jill swings to profit again; expects net store closures

Dan Berthiaume
Senior Editor, Technology
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For the second straight quarter, women’s apparel and accessories retailer J.Jill Inc. went from net loss to net income.

For the fourth quarter of its fiscal year 2021, net income at J.Jill totaled $3.6 million, compared to a net loss of $26.9 million in the fourth quarter of fiscal 2020. The retailer also swung from net loss to profit year-over-year in the third quarter of fiscal 2021. During fiscal 2022, the company expects up to 10 net store closures.

For the fourth quarter:Total net sales for the quarter were up 15.3% to $145.2 million, compared to $125.9 million the year-earlier quarter. Total company comparable sales, which includes same-store and direct-to-consumer sales, increased by 19.7%. However, direct-to-consumer net sales were down 8.8% from 2020, driven by lower markdown sales, and represented 52.1% of total net sales.

Net income per diluted share was $0.25, compared to a net loss of $2.80 in the fourth quarter of fiscal 2020, including the impact of non-recurring items. Excluding the impact of these items, adjusted net income per diluted share in the fourth quarter of fiscal 2021 was $0.15, compared to a loss of $1.30 in the fourth quarter of fiscal 2020.

The company closed seven stores in the fourth quarter of fiscal 2021 and ended the quarter with 253 stores.

For the full year:Total net sales for fiscal 2022 were up 37.1% to $585.2 million, compared to $426.7 million for the prior fiscal year. Total company comparable sales increased by 23.4%. Direct-to-consumer net sales grew 4.4% over 2020 and represented 49.8% of total net sales, compared to 65.5% for the preceding year.

Net Loss was $28.1 million, which includes $59.8 million of various financial charges and fair value adjustments, compared to a loss of $139.4 million for fiscal 2020. Net loss per diluted share was $2.26, compared to a net loss of $15.22 the previous year, including the impact of non-recurring items.

For the first quarter of fiscal 2022, the company expects revenues to grow between 11% and 14% compared to the first quarter of fiscal 2021.

“Fiscal 2021 marked a year of significant recovery for J.Jill, driven by the strengthening of our operating model focused on delivering gross margin improvement through disciplined inventory management and full price selling,” said Claire Spofford, president and CEO of J.Jill Inc. “We delivered significant adjusted EBITDA expansion while navigating a dynamic macro environment, particularly in the second half of the year. I want to thank all of my teammates at J. Jill for their contributions to driving our strategic objectives.”

Spofford also commented on expectations for the current fiscal year.

“As we move into fiscal 2022, we are pleased with our performance to date, and we enter the year building on the disciplines we have established, particularly with regard to inventory and expense management,” said Spofford. “Looking ahead, our focus will remain on driving profitable growth while introducing new customers to our relevant and compelling brand and products.”

[Read More: Exclusive: Q&A with J.Jill CEO]

Headquartered outside Boston, J.Jill operates 253 stores nationwide and an e-commerce platform.