Francesca’s to close at least 20 stores

Credit: Emile Wamsteker/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Credit: Emile Wamsteker/Bloomberg via Getty Images

The women's clothier Francesca's is the latest retail company to announce the closing of stores.

The Houston-based apparel and gifts retailer reported a loss of $40.9 million, the Houston Chronicle reported.

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The company’s Interim Chief Executive Michael Prendergast said the chain’s poor performance was due to lack of focus and bad execution when it came to buying stock for the stores as well as issues with store leases.

"Merchandising, buying and planning teams operated a more complicated process that slowed their reaction time to read and react to product trends in the market," Pendergast told investors Friday, according to the Chronicle.

The key demographics for the company, women in their 20s and 30s, are more frequently shopping online or independent boutiques, the newspaper reported.

Company leadership is looking for ways to raise the value of their shares, including selling the company.

In 2018, Francesca's closed 32 stores. It currently has 727 store open across the country, the Houston Business Journal reported.

It also laid off corporate office staff and field managers in February and cut other costs to save an expected $15 million in 2019, the Chronicle reported.

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