Christopher & Banks narrows loss; plans new store openings

Minneapolis -- Christopher & Banks Corp. reported a loss of $265,000 for the quarter ended Aug. 4, narrowed from a $2.2 million loss in the year-ago period. Sales edged up 1% to $104.2 million from $103.4 million, and same-store sales climbed 7.7%.

Under the leadership of CEO LuAnn Via, the company is in the early stages of a turnaround, with store openings on tap for both fiscal 2013 and a longer-term three-year period.

“We have developed a long range plan, beginning with fiscal 2014, focused on driving mid-single digit comparable store sales growth and operating margin expansion over the next three fiscal years,” said Via. “We believe that we can achieve these goals as we remain steadfast on the continued execution of our merchandising and marketing initiatives, expand our total square footage and leverage the strong infrastructure we have developed over the last several quarters.”

In 2013, the chain plans to open six outlet stores, two new MPW (missy, petite, women) stores and to convert 24 existing stores to 12 MPW stores. For the three-year period beginning with fiscal 2014, the company plans 20 or more new store openings per year and conversion of existing stores to the MPW store format.