Any way you slice it, CWTR remains a mixed bag. This team gets two more Q's to prove they have the right stuff to fashion a healthy turnaround. That makes this coming Holiday season Ms. Brown's final exam.
Let's call these last two Q's "table setting" - identifying the right fashion trends, stocking the proper mix, belt-tightening, and closing underperforming stores.
You can only sing this song for so long. Ironically, the single biggest boost to CWTR prospects may be the economic climate, not Mother Nature herself. An improving economy may just just get them over the hump, even with an imperfect blend of fashions.
The bottom line is Wall St. wants to see top line growth in addition to margin expansion. If they can't do both, it's game over and the private equity vultures will take over. Just like Talbots.
I do believe a buyout is their only salvation. The stock continues to tank, and there is no doubt the company needs an enema from their overpaid top management right on down. Hopefully a buyout could take place this Summer, so someone with a brain in their head could come up with something decent to offer consumers for the upcoming holidays.Without a major change in ownership/management soon they will be in the sewer in no time at all.
These people will bleed the company until it goes under. How long can it last?
Mr. Dennis C. Pence , 63
Co-Founder, Chairman and Chairman of Exec. Committee 2.05M 0.00
Ms. Jill Brown Dean , 56
Chief Exec. Officer, Pres, Director and Member of Succession Planning & Management Devel. Committee 934.00K 0.00
Mr. Jerome Jessup , 52
Pres and Chief Creative Officer 965.00K 0.00
Mr. James A. Bell , 45
Chief Financial Officer, Chief Operating Officer and Exec. VP 1.35M 0.00
Mr. Mark A. Haley , 45
Chief Accounting Officer and VP 356.00K
An improving economy may just just get them over the hump, even with an imperfect blend of fashions.
That's an absolute CANARD. Their loss rate, as a percent of sales, annually, is huge. This is 100% a CWTR problem, not an economy problem. The economy has NO CHANCE of saving them. They need to save themselves, but their is absolutely no evidence that they are doing that.
I don't disagree that CWTR's problems are their own doing; there are plenty of women's retailers doing just fine. At the same time, the economic downturn of the last few years killed off many marginal retailers, and to their credit CWTR has survived - thanks in large part to the investment by private equity (Golden Gate, I think?).
And that's exactly who'll be waiting in the wings to buy up the rest of the company for pennies on the dollar if Ms. Brown fails to execute the turnaround.
This is the Talbot's all over again. There was $$$ to be made there during the months leading to the eventual PE buyout, and they were in even worse financial shape and led by delusional idiots.
CWTR isn't going under, IMO. They will be bought. Well capitalized ownership, with better leadership and a more efficient infrastructure can rebuild the brand which still has significant value.
I put the price tag at $200 million, give or take. That's based on the Talbots deal last year.