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Indiana handbag maker Vera Bradley sees stock rise on strong earnings report

The Lunch Crossbody Bag was shown in a post on the Facebook page of Vera Bradley on Aug. 18, 2023. (Provided Photo/Vera Bradley via Facebook)

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WISH) — Handbag and accessories company Vera Bradley Inc. stock rose nearly 3% after it reported strong second-quarter earnings on Wednesday.

The Fort Wayne-based company has seen its stock rise 78% in the past year.

Chief Executive Officer Jackie Ardrey initiated a reorganization early in 2023. She said Wednesday that effort is beginning to pay off. Changes included reducing expenses, improving inventory, and eliminating some of the company’s leadership.

Ardrey said in a statement as part of the earnings report, “One of our key goals this year is to stabilize revenues. We continue to make progress on that front, with second quarter consolidated revenues of $128.2 million only modestly below last year.”

The report also noted that sales for the Vera Bradley brand were down 1.2% from last year. Part of that was due to store closures in the past year.

Indiana has four Vera Bradley stores as well as other retailers selling the brand. In Indianapolis, the Vera Bradley store is at The Fashion Mall at Keystone. The company also has a store at the Indiana Premium Outlets south of Indianapolis near Edinburgh.

Ardrey also said in the report, “The successful return of the Vera Bradley Annual Outlet Sale offset weakness we experienced in our factory outlet stores in addition to compensating for the elimination of one online outlet sale during the quarter. The remainder of our e-commerce sales continued to perform well. Lastly, Vera Bradley Indirect revenues were up slightly to last year.”

The report also said year-over-year sales of the Pura Vida bracelet brand declined 3.6%.