Ladies and gentlemen, thank you for standing by, and welcome to Vince Holding Corp. Q2 2020 Earnings Conference Call. [Operator Instructions]
I would now like to hand the conference over to Amy Levy, Vice President, FD&A and Investor Relations. Thank you. Please go ahead.
Thank you, and good afternoon, everyone. Welcome to Vince Holding Corp.'s second quarter fiscal 2020 results conference call. Hosting the call today is Dave Stefko, interim Chief Executive Officer and Chief Financial Officer.
Before we begin, let me remind you that certain statements made on this call may constitute forward-looking statements, which are subject to risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ from those that the Company expects. Those risks and uncertainties are described in today's press release and the Company's SEC filings, which are available on the Company's website. Investors should not assume that the statements made during the call will remain operative at a later time and the Company undertakes no obligation to update any information discussed on the call.
After the prepared remarks, management will be available to take your questions for as long as time permits. Now, I'll turn the call over to Dave.
Thank you, Amy. Good afternoon, everyone, and thanks for joining us today.
I am very excited to be stepping into the role of interim CEO as we continue our path forward. Over the past five years, I have worked closely with Brendan as we rejuvenated the Vince brand, and I remain excited about the opportunities in front of us for both Vince and Rebecca Taylor. We have a team of highly talented individuals across the business that remain committed to working together to advance the strategies we have set in place for both brands. Near term, our priority remains to navigate our business through the challenges presented by COVID-19, including driving sales, controlling expenses, protecting cash and maximizing liquidity.
Looking back on the second quarter, as expected, we saw slow rebuild of momentum from the initial results of the pandemic as consumers buying shifted to e-commerce and as stores reopened. At the start of the crisis, we reduced merchandise purchase orders to prepare for unpredictable changes in customer purchasing behavior. We also maintained promotional and markdown activity above our normal cadence throughout the quarter to move seasonal inventory, which pressured gross margin.
We continued to carefully manage costs and protect cash through furloughs, salary reductions lower marketing investments and disciplined expense management. I will speak to our financial results shortly. Looking at the business for Vince, we have reprioritized our growth strategies to adapt to the changing environment. In our direct business, we have reopened the majority of our stores with fewer hours and reduced staffing to respond to lower traffic levels, while focusing on driving continued momentum in our e-commerce business.
In wholesale, we're working closely with our wholesale partners to rebuild pre-COVID momentum and believe that our relative performance and market share gains within the contemporary space set us up well for the future.
Vice President, FD&A and Investor Relations
Interim Chief Executive Officer and Chief Financial Officer
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