Fort Wayne-based Vera Bradley Inc. (Nasdaq: VRA) is reporting second-quarter net income of $7.2 million, compared to $5.9 million during the same period a year ago, as the company continues to recover from the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Vera Bradley retail and outlet stores were closed approximately half of the second quarter.
The company said Q2 revenues grew 10% year-over-year with e-commerce sales doubling.
“I am extremely pleased with our second-quarter results, which significantly exceeded our expectations and last year’s performance, despite facing the headwinds of COVID-19,” said Rob Wallstrom, Vera Bradley chief executive officer. “There are not too many soft-good retail companies that actually did well during the quarter, so I’m proud of what the team did. But it’s not easy.”
The company, which specializes in handbags, luggage, and other fashion accessories, said store volume is 70% of normal, but it saw a 99% increase in e-commerce revenues for the quarter, including Vera Bradley and Pura Vida lines.
“Our e-commerce business was very strong in the quarter,” said Wallstrom. “We know that the pandemic will have a lasting effect on the way consumers act and shop and that our digital competencies will be even more important in this new environment.”
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The company also started producing cotton face masks this spring. Vera Bradley decided to contribute to a nonprofit a percentage of each mask sold through the end of July.
The company presented the American Nurses Foundation with $630,000 through its VB Cares effort.
“As we began to reach scale, we wanted to give back to the frontline workers and decided to offer support to the Coronavirus Response Fund for Nurses,” explained Wallstrom. “Our associates are so thrilled to be able to support the health care workers fighting every day to treat those affected by the pandemic.”
Wallstrom said the company provided $500 bonuses to full-time employees at its distribution center, store, and customer service representatives.
Vera Bradley factory stores and all but three full-line stores were reopened as of the first week of August, however with reduced hours and lower staffing levels.
In an interview with Inside INdiana Business, Vera Bradley Chief Executive Officer Rob Wallstrom said despite the improvement, the company still faced strong headwinds in the second quarter.
Wallstrom shared the company’s philanthropic philosophy to the mask sales.