TORONTO-Hudson’s Bay Co. posted a net loss of C$80.7 million (about the same in U.S. dollars) for its fiscal first quarter ending on May 4, compared to a net loss of C$129.7 million for the first quarter of one year ago.
Net sales for the department-store company were $884 million in the quarter, up 4.2 percent, with a same-store sales gain of 4 percent. Same-store sales for the Hudson’s Bay segment rose 7.6 percent, while at Lord & Taylor, same-store sales fell 1.4 percent. E-commerce sales jumped 32.8 percent, and what the retailer described as “certain home categories” also helped drive the company’s overall sales increase.
Richard Baker, Hudson’s Bay’s governor and CEO, also cited improved store productivity and the retailer’s two-year-old partnership with the United Kingdom apparel brands Topshop and Topman for driving the first-quarter sales gains.
Selling, general and administrative expenses were slimmed by 2.5 percent on a dollar basis and 290 basis points as a percentage of sales, to 42 percent. However, Hudson’s Bay’s continuing investments in its omnichannel operations and other capital investments combined to keep it in the red in the quarter. Gross margin increased by 10 basis points to 40.3 percent.