Shares of Christopher & Banks Corp. tumbled 17% in premarket trade Tuesday after the company announced the departure of CEO LuAnn Via and said sales disappointed during the key holiday shopping period. The women's retailer anticipates fiscal fourth-quarter sales in the range of $85 million to $86 million, compared with $94.6 million in the year-earlier period. Analysts on average had been calling for sales of $95.2 million, according to FactSet. Christopher & Banks blamed the weaker-than-expected sales on lower traffic, "ongoing headwinds in women's apparel," and the weather, with the worst demand occurring in the two weeks leading up to Christmas. The company also announced that industry veteran and former Wet Seal CEO Joel Waller has been appointed as interim chief in the wake of Via's departure. Shares of Christopher & Banks had been up more than 50% in the past three months as of Friday's close.
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