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Burlington Narrows Q1 Outlook, Discloses CEO Succession Plan

Burlington Stores Inc. on Tuesday provided an update to its fiscal first-quarter financial guidance, and disclosed a succession plan that has its chief executive officer transitioning to an executive chairman role.

The off-price retailer now expects adjusted earnings per share for the quarter ending May 4 to be in the range of $1.21 to $1.25. That range is narrower than first expected, although still within the original guidance of between $1.21 to $1.31 a share. Burlington also narrowed its comparable stores sales guidance to between 0.0 percent to 0.5 percent, also within its previous guidance of 0.0 percent to 2.0 percent.

The off-pricer also said that after 10 years as CEO, Thomas Kingsbury will step down around Sept. 16, 2019, and continue in the new capacity of executive chairman. He is currently chairman, president and CEO.

Burlington has named Michael O’Sullivan as its new CEO, effective on or about Sept. 16. He was formerly president and chief operating officer of Ross Stores Inc. In addition, Jennifer Vecchio, chief merchandising officer, principal, has been named to the newly-created role of president, chief merchandising offer, effective immediately. In her new role, she will continue oversee merchandising and planning, and add oversight for marketing and strategy.

Kingsbury said, “Given our tremendous progress and the strong foundation we have established, the board and I believe now is the right time to transition to new leadership.”

John J. Mahoney, lead independent director and chair of the compensation committee, said, “On behalf of the board, I would like to thank Tom for his leadership and contributions to Burlington. The company’s stock price has increased more than 800 percent since the IPO in 2013.”

Burlington operated 675 stores at the end of the fourth quarter of fiscal 2018 across 45 states and Puerto Rico. Its merchandise mix includes women’s ready-to-wear apparel, men’s wear, children’s apparel, beauty, footwear accessories and home goods.