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The Bon-Ton's CEO Presents At Goldman Sachs Nineteenth Global Retailing Conference (Transcript)

Stocks in this article: BONT

And really I spent the last month or so trying to figure out what the strategy should be to map some goals and vision. So internally the team knew what we were marching towards and externally we could present that as well. And so I thought I'd just take a few minutes to share with you some of what was posted on our website I think earlier this morning.

First thing was what's our vision, what do we want to be? And for us, it's to be the dominant, omni-channel retailer in the small to mid-size communities we serve, offering fashion merchandise for the family and home at compelling prices.

Goals, how will we know when we get there? For us right now, it's a $3 billion plus in revenues and a 10% EBITDA margin. That would show great improvement from where we are today, particularly on the bottom line margin, but we think it's an achievable goal as we turn ourselves around.

And then kind of six categories in terms of how – where will the growth come from? I think the first thing is embrace our base. One thing I commented on during our most recent conference call was we tried to get too young too quickly and we paid the price for that. The previous team has set a goal to reach out to a younger customer, I think that's the right goal to have, I think that's a natural evolution, but it was done far too quickly.

We didn't try to get younger by a couple years, we tried to get younger by a couple of decades and we paid the price for that. So we need to evolve towards the younger customer but not at the expense of our mature traditional customer. And our inventories went from being about 70% traditional and 30% updated to last season they were a 50-50 split. And our existing customer was disappointed because we had eliminated or downsized many of her favorite brands and we couldn't get that younger customer in quickly enough.

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