Fort Wayne-based luggage, handbag, and accessory design company Vera Bradley Inc. (Nasdaq: VRA) is reporting a first-quarter net loss of $2.1 million, compared to a loss of $15.3 million during the same period a year ago.
During the quarter, Vera Bradley Direct revenues, which includes retail and e-commerce, climbed 81%. Vera Bradley temporarily closed all of its stores for about half of the first quarter of the prior year as the pandemic set in. Therefore, the company says year-to-year sales comparisons are not pertinent.
Chief Executive Officer Rob Wallstrom says the company outperformed revenue and earnings expectations during the quarter, crediting consumer confidence, traffic and increased spending as COVID-19 vaccines became more widely available.
“Our strong cash position, debt-free balance sheet, and ability to generate free cash flow will allow us to continue to invest in both our Vera Bradley and Pura Vida brands and seek out appropriate acquisitions of other comfortable, affordable, purpose-driven, digitally-native brands, similar to our successful Pura Vida acquisition, over time,” said Wallstrom. “We will also continue to expand our reach by adding adjacent product categories and geographies.”
The company says it permanently closed ten stores and opened seven factory outlet stores over the last twelve months.
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