Fashion apparel retailer Express has reported consolidated net sales of $435.3m in the second quarter (Q2) of fiscal 2023 (FY23), down by 6% from $464.9m in the same period in fiscal 2022 (FY22).

Sales for the Express and UpWest brands also dropped by 15% to $394.4m, while sales of the Bonobos brand exceeded the retailer’s expectation at $40.9m.

For the 13 weeks to 29 July 2023, the gross margin of Express accounted for 23.1% of net sales, down by approximately 1,000 basis points (bps) from last year, which was 33.1% of net sales.

The retailer’s selling, general and administrative (SG&A) expenses for Q2 FY23 were $146.1m against $143.3m in the prior year quarter.

Over the quarter, Express registered an operating loss of $39.6m compared with operating income of $10.4m in Q2 FY22.

Its net loss was $44.1m in Q2 FY23 compared with net income of $7m in the same period last year.

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By GlobalData

The retailer reported a loss per diluted share of $11.79 during the period against earnings per diluted share of $2.05 in Q2 FY22.

Express chief executive officer Tim Baxter said: “Second-quarter net sales and diluted loss per share were within the ranges of our outlook and we are gaining momentum. In the Express brand, we drove significant, sequential improvement each month driven by a powerful trend change in our women’s and eCommerce businesses. This momentum continued through Labour Day.

“Bonobos sales also exceeded our expectations, delivered operating income accretive to our total and is positioned to be a growth engine for EXPR.

“We have also taken aggressive action to improve the bottom line. As a result of the ongoing comprehensive review of our entire expense structure, we have identified and implemented $80m in savings in 2023, $120m in 2024, and our commitment grows to $200m by 2025.”

In the third quarter of FY23, Express anticipates net sales of around $460m–490m and diluted loss per share in the range of $5.50–7.50.

For the full year, the retailer expects net sales of approximately $1.9bn–2bn.