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Birks Slides to Loss in Weak Canada Economy

Nov 23, 2016 7:21 AM   By Rapaport News
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RAPAPORT... Birks Group fell into the red in the first fiscal half because of tougher economic conditions in Western Canada.

Sales fell 3 percent to $129.7 million in the 26 weeks that ended September 24, the Montreal-based company reported. Revenue from Canada slumped 14 percent to $54.9 million, outweighing a 6 percent jump in U.S. to $74.9 million. The group recorded a loss of $2 million versus a profit of $830,000 a year ago.

The jeweler, which operates 27 stores in Canada, said traffic declined along with discretionary spending on non-essential products. While lower sales of higher-end jewelry negatively affected the average transaction value, it was partially offset by a 5 percent strengthening of the Canadian dollar over a year to September 24.

In the U.S., where Birks has 17 stores in the south east of the country under the Mayors brand, stronger timepiece sales led to a higher average transaction value. The company expanded its offering of watch and jewelry brands and introduced new timepiece brands, it explained.

“Despite unfavorable economic conditions and the lower than expected sales in Canada, we had a good sales performance in the United States where we outperformed many of our competitors,” said Jean-Christophe Bédos, Birks’ president and chief executive officer.

Comparable store sales fell 2 percent at constant exchange rates, weighed by an 11 percent decline in Canada.

Birks also operates one store under the Rolex brand name and two retail locations in Calgary and Vancouver under the Brinkhaus label.

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Tags: birks, birks group, Brinkhaus, Calgary, Canada, Jean-Christophe Bédos, mayors, montreal, Rapaport News, u.s., vancouver, Western Canada
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