Pura Vida’s revenues totaled $17.7 million in the third quarter, an 18.3 percent decrease year-over-year, according to the brand’s parent, Vera Bradley, Inc. Higher retail sales only partially offset declines in wholesale and e-commerce channels.
On an analyst call, Vera Bradley’s CEO Jackie Ardrey said the wholesale and e-commerce sales decline reflected strong sales in the year-ago period, “driven by meaningfully higher levels of marketing spend along with increased liquidation and clearance activity.” She added, “With our diligent expense management and focus on profitability, Pura Vida’s year-over-year third quarter operating income improved.”
Pure Vida’s operating loss in the quarter was reduced to $600,000 from $1.4 million a year ago. On a non-GAAP or adjusted basis, Pura Vida’s operating income was $100,000 compared to a loss of $100,000 in the prior year.
Pura Vida’s revenues for the nine months totaled $62.9 million, a 6.9 percent decrease. Operating income was $5.0 million compared to an operating loss of $28.8 million. A goodwill impairment charge impacted the year-ago period. On a non-GAAP basis, Pura Vida’s operating income was $7.2 million compared to $4.3 million a year ago.
Addressing initiatives under “Project Restoration” for Pure Vida, Ardrey said the brand is sharpening its focus on young women aged 18 to 24, the original brand target audience. She said, “We have re-centered our brand philosophy on living life to the fullest. We have pivoted our marketing to authentically share real moments, places and faces of our customers and enthusiasts.”
Ardrey added that Pure Vida has become “more analytical” in tapping its new customer data platform to target customers to drive acquisition and retention more strategically. Ardrey said, “Our recent live free and college mobile tours were huge successes for customer engagement.”
In product, Ardrey said Pure Vida is “focusing on delivering unique fun, playful designs that are affordable and accessible with a key emphasis on bracelets and jewelry as well as other strategic adjacent categories. Innovation and newness are working. Our custom bracelets from Harper Charms to engravable items to building your own bracelets are popular and continue to be a big growth opportunity.”
Ardrey continued, “We will continue to pursue high-profile collaborations like Hello Kitty, Shark Week and Harry Potter, which are always fan favorites and bring new customers to the brand.”
Pure Vida has also recently expanded its men’s collection. Ardrey said, “This collection still targets our core customer who purchases these items for the men in her life. Holiday gifting is a huge opportunity for us, and our offerings include special holiday bracelet packs, collectible ornaments, holiday-themed Harper Charms and our very popular advent boxes.”
Regarding channels, Pure Vida strongly focuses on driving e-commerce growth and strategic expansion of wholesale by “pursuing bigger, more strategic partnerships and expanding larger existing accounts.” Also, its existing store model is being refined and due to its success, “a handful of new Pura Vida store locations” are being planned for 2024. It currently has five locations.
Vera Bradley acquired a 75 percent interest in Pura Vida, based in La Jolla, CA, in July 2019 and acquired the remaining 25 percent in January 2023.
Photo courtesy Pura Vida