Birks ends fiscal 2021 with 15% sales fall
Canadian luxury jewelry retailer Birks Group announced on Thursday a net sales decrease of 15.5 percent for fiscal 2021, as the retailer was significantly impacted by the Covid-19 pandemic.
The Montreal-based company reported net sales of $143.1 million, a decrease of $26.3 million, compared to net sales of $169.4 million in fiscal 2020.
Birks said the decrease was primarily driven by temporary closures of all stores across the retail channel, which were in effect throughout the first quarter of fiscal 2021 and the temporary closures of certain stores (in Ontario, Québec and Manitoba) at intermittent periods throughout the fiscal year, including during the third and fourth quarters of fiscal 2021.
Comparable store sales decreased by 14.3 percent compared to fiscal 2020, though the overall decrease was partially offset by strong e-commerce sales, which grew by 201 percent representing approximately 4.9 percent of total net sales, as compared to approximately 1.4 percent in fiscal 2020.
The company did manage to narrow losses, recording a net loss for fiscal 2021 of $5.8 million, or $0.32 per share, all of which was comprised of a net loss from continuing operations, compared to a net loss for fiscal 2020 of $12.8 million, or $0.71 per share.
"I am very proud of how we have navigated through the challenges brought about by Covid-19 during the past fiscal year and I believe that our results reflect the agility, hard work and adaptability of our employees as we ended the year stronger than we started,” said Jean-Christophe Bédos, president and CEO.
“In response to the pandemic, our teams reacted very quickly to ensure that we continuously met the evolving needs of our customers throughout these unprecedented times, including the improvement of our omni-channel offering which was reflected in the 201% increase in our e-commerce sales during fiscal 2021.”
Looking ahead, Bédos said that he believes the company remains well positioned for growth.
“Looking forward, I believe that the actions we have taken since the start of the pandemic and our lessons learned have placed the company in a stronger position in terms of customer focus and dedication, innovation, and productivity which we can leverage to fuel long-term growth.”
As of Thursday, 20 of the company's 29 stores were open, albeit at reduced operating hours. The remaining nine stores, all located in Ontario, are expected to remain closed for in-person shopping in accordance with the Ontario government's orders until at least July 6.
Last month, the company announced that its branded luxury jewellery collection would be readily available to U.S. shoppers through an expanded partnership with Saks Fifth Avenue.
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