by Stephen Garner
Vince spring/summer 2018 campaign

Global luxury apparel and accessories brand Vince is seeing success from its new sales strategy focusing on direct-to-consumer and select department store wholesale partners.

Net sales for the fourth quarter increased 16.9 percent to $74.6 million, compared to $63.9 million in the fourth quarter of fiscal 2016.

Wholesale segment sales increased 11.7 percent in the fourth quarter to $38.5 million as compared to the same period last year. Direct-to-consumer segment sales increased 22.9 percent to $36.2 million compared to the fourth quarter of fiscal 2016. Comparable sales increased 16.1 percent on a 13-week basis, including e-commerce sales, primarily due to an increase in average unit retail.

For the entire fiscal year, net sales increased 1.6 percent to $272.6 million from $268.2 million during fiscal year 2016. Wholesale segment net sales decreased 2.3 percent to $166.1 million and direct-to-consumer segment net sales increased 8.5 percent to $106.5 million compared to fiscal year 2016. Comparable store sales on a 52-week basis increased 4.5 percent compared to the prior year period, including e-commerce sales.

“We were pleased with our fourth quarter results, which reflect the significant progress we’ve made toward regaining market share,” said Brendan Hoffman, chief executive officer of Vince. “Our strong comparable sales results illustrate that our product is resonating with consumers and that the demand for the Vince brand remains strong. Our largest comp increase came from locations in proximity to department stores that we have exited, demonstrating that our efforts to capture these customers in our own stores are working.”

Hoffman went on to say that as the company places a greater emphasis on a direct-to-consumer growth strategy, Vince plans to open stores in key street and mall locations. In its wholesale business, Hoffman lauded its partnerships with Nordstrom and Neiman Marcus, saying that they are “progressing very well and we are beginning to see our collaborative efforts yield benefits.”