Rough quarter for Destination XL Group; hires chief digital officer

Marianne Wilson
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Destination XL Group widened its loss in the third quarter as new promotional events failed to drive sales. 

The nation’s largest men’s big and tall specialty retailer also announced it has appointed Ujjwal Dhoot as chief digital officer, effective Dec. 16. Prior to joining DXL, Dhoot held senior marketing positions with, Charming Charlie and   

“Ujjwal’s appointment underscores our ongoing commitment to building out a digitally-driven marketing organization,” said Harvey Kanter, president and CEO. Our organizational pursuits support the heightened strategic focus on customer engagement through data-driven personalization, loyalty and digital marketing; our number one priority area for DXL for 2020.  This strategic hire continues to focus the organization around the digital opportunity as a primary growth engine for the company

DXL reported a net loss  of $7.2 million for the quarter ended Nov. 2, compared to a net loss of $2 million in the year-ago period. The company attributed the loss for the current quarter partially to  exit costs related to the the shuttering  of its Rochester Clothing store in London, which incurred a charge of about $1.7 million. 

In March, DXL announced that it would close its five remaining Rochester Clothing stores in fiscal 2019. The two remaining locations, in Beverly Hills and New York City, will be closed in the fourth quarter.

Total sales fell 0.5% to $106.6 million.  Total comparable sales increased 0.2%, the retailer’s first positive sales comp for the year. Harvey Kanter, president and CEO, said comp sales accelerated as the quarter progressed with (-2.3)% in August, +0.2% in September and +2.5% in October. 

“This is a small win for us and a first step in the right direction,” said  Kanter. “In our direct channel, we were pleased to see a solid, double-digit percentage increase in site traffic which resulted in a mid-single digit growth rate in our direct sales results. Finally, our wholesale business generated $2.9 million in sales, or an increase of $2.5 million over the prior year quarter. Although overall DXL sales performance is still not to the level that I believe we are capable, we remain cautiously optimistic and expect greater inflection in the coming quarters.”