Ascena's holiday sales drop, appoints new president for plus fashion

Total comparable sales at Ascena Retail Group for the holiday period dropped 3 percent. The company said while comparable sales for the kids fashion category (Justice) increased 4 percent, its plus fashion brands Lane Bryant and Catherines together declined 2 percent with flat and 7 percent drop in both respectively. Premium fashion segment’s comparable sales declined 3 percent and value fashion’s 9 percent. The company also announced appointment of a new president for its plus fashion segment.

Commenting on the update, David Jaffe, the company’s Chief Executive Officer said: “While holiday performance was mixed across our brand portfolio, we were pleased with the continued comp acceleration at Justice, along with the significant trend improvement at both Loft and Lane Bryant, which were five points better than the prior quarter. Quarter to-date enterprise comparable sales are down 3 percent, and we are reaffirming our second quarter earnings guide of a 7 to 12 cent loss per share, excluding the potential impact from recently enacted tax reform.”

Eric Hunter named President of plus fashion segment

The company also announced that Eric Hunter will serve as President of Ascena’s plus fashion segment which includes the Lane Bryant, Catherines and Cacique brands.

“Eric’s broad experience and focus on the customer makes him well-equipped to take on this essential leadership position,” said Gary Muto, President and Chief Executive Officer of Ascena Brands in a statement.

The company added that Hunter’s background includes more than 20 years of diverse marketing experience. Most recently, he served as executive vice president of marketing for Pier 1 Imports, Inc., a position he held since 2013. He also has experience as senior vice president and acting chief marketing officer for JCPenney Company where he led strategy, research, creative, media, customer relationship management and digital direction. Prior to that, Hunter served as chief marketing officer & group president with Kellwood Company. He also gained experience at PMK/HBH/Momentum and Creative Artists Agency.

“I’m very excited to join ascena and contribute to the company’s transformation and growth efforts by leading Lane Bryant, Catherines and Cacique,” added Hunter.



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