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Destination XL taps new CFO following Q1 results


Destination XL Group has named Peter H. Stratton Jr. as SVP, CFO and treasurer, effective June 1. Stratton replaces John E. Kyees, who was serving as interim CFO, and will report to president and CEO David Levin.

Stratton has been serving as the company’s SVP of finance, corporate controller and chief accounting officer since Sept. 2009. He joined the company in June of the same year as VP of finance.

From May 2007 to June 2009, he served as senior director of corporate accounting at BearingPoint. Prior to that, he held various finance and accounting leadership positions at Legal Sea Foods, Shaw's Supermarkets, and Cintas Corporation.

Stratton has a bachelor's degree in accounting from Babson College and an M.B.A. in finance from Miami University.

"Peter's strong financial background and passion for our company gives us confidence that he is the right choice to serve as Destination XL's next CFO," said Levin. "We conducted a thorough search that included internal as well as external candidates. Peter clearly demonstrated his financial acumen and leadership strength during this process. In addition, he has been integral in the development and execution of our DXL transformation strategy. We look forward to his future contributions as CFO as we continue to roll out the DXL concept. On behalf of the entire DXL team, I also would like to thank John Kyees, our board member, for his commitment and contributions to the Company as interim CFO during the past few months and for continuing to act as a resource for our financial strategies."

News of his promotion coincided with the company’s first-quarter results for fiscal 2014, which were strong thanks to a solid performance at its Destination XL stores during the quarter.

Although severe winter weather impacted business in February and March, sales rebounded in April and more than offset weakness early in the quarter, resulting in a 3.4% overall comparable sales increase.

“This positive momentum has continued in May,” said Levin. “Our DXL stores continue to perform very well, delivering a 12.8% comparable sales increase during what was a difficult quarter in the retail sector. We have now reported four consecutive quarters of double-digit comparable sales growth at DXL stores."

At the end of April, the company launched its latest marketing campaign and expects to drive increased traffic and higher conversion rates at DXL stores.

"DXL brand awareness has increased from 13% in spring 2013 to 30% in spring 2014,” added Levin. “This quarter marked the first quarter during the DXL store era that we increased our customer base while closing Casual Male XL stores. Our 2014 campaign is more geared toward showcasing our stores and the depth of merchandise we have to offer. The new TV and radio commercials include various calls to action to incentivize our customers to visit our DXL stores or website. We now have a critical mass of stores open across the country and look forward to capitalizing on our ongoing marketing initiatives."

Looking ahead, the company expects to in the next few years further increase its top line, improve profitability, generate cash flow and grow sales per sq. ft. and four wall contribution.

Total sales for the quarter were $96.8 million compared with $94 million in the first quarter of fiscal 2013. Through the end of fiscal 2013, the company's definition of comparable sales included DXL stores compared with the sales of predecessor Casual Male XL stores. According to the company, it did this to provide a metric as to how DXL stores were performing in comparison to its Casual Male XL legacy stores. Beginning in the first quarter of fiscal 2014, the company returned to a more traditional calculation of comparable sales and only stores open at least 13 months are included in the calculation of comparable store sales.

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