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Christopher & Banks lowers sales forecast for third quarter


Continued softness in mall traffic and lower-than-expected sales from its September fashion show have prompted Christopher & Banks to cut its sales forecast for the third quarter of fiscal 2014.

The retailer believes sales have also been negatively affected by the demand for fashion merchandise that exceeded planned inventory levels, as well as late receipts associated with the West Coast port disruptions. The retailer announced the revised guidance just a month after reporting “solid” second-quarter results and just days after announcing the rollout of a new store concept.

For the third quarter of fiscal 2014, Christopher & Banks now expects total net sales to be in the range of $114 million to $118 million, as compared to its prior guidance of between $122 million to $124 million in net sales and $118.1 million of net sales in the prior year’s third quarter. Christopher & Banks also cut its forecasts for third quarter gross margin improvement and SG&A dollars, and increased its forecast for inventory.

“We believe that the continued softness in traffic trends, coupled with the difficult overall retail environment, have adversely affected our sales as compared to our initial expectations for the quarter,” said president and CEO LuAnn Via. “We are operating our business with the assumption that the current environment will remain challenging and promotional activity will continue to be aggressive, creating continued pressure on sales and margins. That said, we have seen recent improvements in the sell-through of fashion merchandise and continued strong margins in our core offerings.”

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