Juicy Couture a Weight on Fifth & Pacific 4Q Sales

By RetailFOXBusiness

Fifth & Pacific (NYSE:FNP) said Monday that Juicy Couture sales remained soft in the fourth quarter despite efforts to revamp the brand.

The New York-based retailer, which also operates popular designer brands Kate Spade and Lucky Brand, said Juicy Couture same-store sales, a key growth metric that measures sales at stores open longer than a year, slumped 2% last quarter.

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The results come nearly two months after Fifth & Pacific, formerly Liz Claiborne, tapped Kenneth Cole Productions Chief Executive Paul Blum to head the struggling Juicy brand.

“Overall for the company, 2012 was a year of progress marked by industry leading growth at Kate Spade, and a significant improvement in performance at Lucky Brand,” said Fifth & Pacific CEO William L. McComb.

The performance was tempered by a miss in North America, driven by merchandising and other issues at Juicy Couture that McComb said he believes "are now being corrected" under Blum's direction.

In the fourth quarter, Kate Spade same-store sales grew 27%, while those of Lucky ticked up 3%.

Shares of Fifth & Pacific climbed nearly 3% early Monday to $13.20.

The company also announced on Monday that full-year earnings will likely come in at the lower end of its earlier provided range.

The designer now sees quarterly EBITDA between $63 million and $68 million, resulting in a full-year 2012 expectation of $100 million to $105 million.

McComb said he is optimistic that Fifth & Pacific’s Kate Spade and Juicy brands will deliver “sizable growth” in 2013, while Juicy will start to rebound in late 2013 and early 2014.