By  on May 28, 2014

Belk Inc., citing the “soft-selling environment” and investments for long-term growth, said Wednesday that net income for the first quarter ending May 3 dropped 32 percent to $19.3 million compared with $28.2 million in the prior-year period.

The company said the decrease was primarily the result of higher expenses from investments in strategic initiatives. Comparable-store sales decreased 0.2 percent and totaled $955.1 million, versus $955.8 million a year ago. Online sales increased 42.4 percent in the quarter, positively impacting comparable sales by 1.8 percent for the period. Juniors, women’s contemporary and better merchandise performed well during the quarter, the company said.

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