Guess continues to suffer greatly from the consequences of the coronavirus crisis. The American clothing brand saw its turnover plummet during the last financial year and even hit the red.
New wave of closures
In the fourth quarter, which ended on 30 January, sales dropped by 23 per cent to 648 million dollars (550 million euros). The numbers are a result of lower demand, temporary store closures and capacity constraints. Towards the end of the third quarter, Guess faced a new round of compulsory store closures: on 30 January, around one in three stores worldwide was temporarily closed, mainly in Europe and Canada.
Across the financial year as a whole, the damage was even worse. Revenue dropped by almost 30 per cent to 1.88 billion dollars (1.6 billion euros). In the United States, revenues shrank by as much as 37 per cent. Europe and Asia experienced a decline of 24.6 per cent and 32.8 per cent respectively.
Guess incurred an operating loss of 60.5 million dollars (51 million euros) for the entire year, although it did return to profit in the final quarter. A year ago, there was still an operating profit of 140.6 million dollars (about 120 million euros).
Given the uncertainty brought on by the crisis, the fashion company does not venture to make detailed forecasts. Guess expects a "high single-digit decline" in sales for the first quarter compared to the same period in 2019. The retailer is deliberately comparing with the year before the pandemic to provide a more meaningful comparative perspective.