Revenue rose 20 percent for Duluth Holdings in its first fiscal quarter, but the Belleville casual and workwear clothing company swung to a loss as it continued an aggressive plan to open stores nationwide.
The parent company of Duluth Trading reported a net loss of $683,000, or 2 cents a share, on $100.2 million in revenue for the three months that ended April 29.
That topped Wall Street expectations. The average estimate of four analysts surveyed by Zacks Investment Research was for a loss of 5 cents per share.
During the same quarter last year, Duluth Holdings earned $415,000, or 1 cent a share, on revenue of $83.7 million.
The addition of 13 stores over the past 12 months was the main reason for higher sales as well as higher expenses, CEO Stephanie Pugliese said. She said women’s apparel purchases have grown significantly and said Duluth will launch a plus-size category for women this fall.
Pugliese said Duluth’s new order management system — a two-year project — began operating May 1 and will be “the foundation to further enhance our omnichannel customer experience.”
Duluth plans to add 15 stores in the 2018 fiscal year; as of Friday, seven of them had opened.
The company also more than doubled its line of credit to support its growth, ending a $60 million line of credit in May and signing for a $130 million line of credit. It is Duluth’s first multi-bank agreement, with three new lenders involved, chief financial officer Dave Loretta said.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.