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‘Project Restoration’ seeing positive early results for Vera Bradley

Photo credit/Alex Brown, Inside Indiana Business

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (Inside Indiana Business) – Fort Wayne-based Vera Bradley Inc. is reporting a fiscal first quarter net loss of $4.7 million, compared to a loss of $7 million during the same period last year. CEO Jackie Ardrey said efforts to bring the company back to profitability and strong cash flow are starting to take effect.

Ardrey, who became CEO in late 2022, launched Project Restoration earlier this year as a means to turn the company around. She said while revenue for the quarter totaled $94.4 million, down from $98.5 million the year prior, there were several positive highlights.

The company’s Pura Vida brand, the jewelry and accessories brand acquired by Vera Bradley in 2019, saw its first positive quarterly revenue performance in five quarters, primarily driven by retail store sales.

Pura Vida also saw improved year-over-year sales trends in both its wholesale and e-commerce channels, Ardrey said. She added the Vera Bradley brand saw strong e-commerce performance and full-line store revenues.

During the quarter, Vera Bradley detailed plans to cut $12 million in costs, including eliminating 25 corporate positions. The company also named Michael Schwindle as its new chief financial officer.

“We are building a collaborative team with the mindset of generating long-term revenue increases, expanding gross margin, and ensuring strong financial discipline and cost control, which we expect will drive long-term profitable growth,” Ardrey said in a news release. “The team is working hard and taking strategic, proactive steps to steadily grow Pura Vida’s revenues and to reverse the trends in Vera Bradley’s factory channel through the expansion of successfully tested targeted marketing programs designed to drive traffic and average order size.”

The company said it has permanently closed 19 full-line and two factory outlet stores, while opening five other factory outlet stores over the past year.

You can connect to the full earnings report by clicking here.

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