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Declining mall traffic affects Bebe in Q4


Bebe Stores had a difficult second quarter. The company reported a net loss of $5.5 million, which it said was partly fueled by declining mall traffic and an aggressive promotional environment across the industry.

Net sales declined 4.1% to $130 million, from $135.5 million reported for the second quarter a year ago. Same-store sales decreased 1.9%.

CEO Steve Birkhold acknowledged challenges, but cited sequential improvement in same-store sales and holiday sales, as well.

“We are encouraged by the sequential improvement we experienced in the second quarter, especially during Black Friday weekend and the month of December,” said Birkhold. “December continued the sequential improvement with positive comparable store sales, as we saw a favorable response to the new merchandise and an increase in traffic.”

Bebe expects flat same-store sales for the third quarter of fiscal 2014. For the remainder of fiscal year 2014, the company plans to close up to six Bebe stores and one 2b Bebe store, which will result in approximately an 8% decrease in total store square footage from the end of fiscal year 2013.

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