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New Vera Bradley CEO: FY 2024 is a rebuilding year

Photo Supplied - Vera Bradley

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (Inside Indiana Business)—New Vera Bradley Inc. CEO Jackie Ardrey says the company has some “heavy lifting to do in fiscal 2024,” as it reports fiscal full-year and fourth quarter losses. The Fort Wayne-based luggage, handbag, and fashion accessory designer announced a full-year net loss of $59.7 million, compared to net income of $17.8 million during the previous year.

The company also reported a Q4 loss of $28.1 million, compared to net income of $5.1 million during the same period a year earlier.

Ardrey, who joined Vera Bradley in November, says FY 2024 will be a rebuilding year.

“We anticipate the Fiscal 2024 macroeconomic environment to continue to be unpredictable and that this year will be a rebuilding year for both of our brands,” said Ardrey. “In the first quarter, we will work to stabilize the business. We hope to see momentum build as the year progresses.”

The company did not provide detailed guidance for the first fiscal quarter of 2024 but expects revenues to be approximately in line with the prior year.

“Although Fiscal 2023 had its challenges, we took actions and laid the groundwork to position the company for the future,” Ardrey said.

Those actions included a restructuring of its leadership team for both the Vera Bradley and Pura Vida brands.

In January, the company eliminated the positions of Vera Bradley Brand President Daren Hull, Chief Creative Officer Beatrice MacCabe, and Chief Revenue Officer Mary Beth Trypus. While eliminating those C-suite executives, it also added a chief marketing officer as the company puts more focus on marketing and merchandising.

As part of the shakeup, Vera Bradley Inc. also acquired the remaining 25% interest in Pura Vida from the two executives, who started the company, for $10 million.

“We are committed to returning Vera Bradley and Pura Vida to profitable growth and generating strong cash flow as a company, which I believe will deliver value to our shareholders over the long term,” said Ardrey. “I am more convinced than ever that both brands have enormous potential, and I am very excited about the future of Vera Bradley, Inc.”

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