Bebe sales fall 9%, sees future in digital

Bebe's (NASDAQ:BEBE) CEO Jim Wiggett sees great potential in moving the brand forward with technology. Wiggett discussed the organization's latest digital strategies during a quarterly call in which the retailer also announced that net sales from continuing operations were $103.6 million, a decrease of 8.7 percent from the same quarter a year ago. Comparable sales decreased 1.9 percent.

Wiggett spoke about one of the retailer's online components, BebeOutlets.com, which the brand uses as a flash site. The digital sales platform was launched in August and will be used periodically throughout the year due to its success.

"It's a great way to clear product and to have a promotional opportunity the customer reacts to," Wiggett said during the call.

He also spoke of Bebe's "very aggressive" approach to moving technology into stores. Stores will soon—if they don't already—come equipped with iPads for customers to use in 50 stores. "We have seen an increase in electronic sales coming through that mechanism, so it gives the customer access to the full line of inventory regardless of the store she's in or whether that store has that specific item," he added.

Wiggett announced that interactive screens will be available for stylists, sales associates and customers to use when they hit Bebe retail stores in November. These screens will have access to the store's entire inventory, offering another way to fulfill shoppers' orders overnight if they can't find all the products they need in one location.

The company recently partnered with digital management platform provider Qubit to boost its online and mobile strategy.

Bebe recently announced the closure of its underperforming 2b brand as it refocuses on the core Bebe brand. The changes are all part of ongoing company turnaround efforts.

For more:
-See this Seeking Alpha transcript

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