Belk Inc. continued to expand its net income and sales in the second quarter, although at a slower pace than in the first three months of the year.
In the quarter ended July 28, the Charlotte, N.C.-based department store retailer’s net income expanded 9.6 percent to $27.4 million from $25 million. Sales were up 4.3 percent, to $867.9 million from $831.8 million, and grew 4.9 percent on a same-store basis. Cost of goods sold increased at the same rate as sales, leaving gross margin essentially unchanged at 33.3 percent of sales.
The company identified men’s wear, children’s and home as the merchandise categories with the highest rates of growth.
“This marked our 10th consecutive quarter of comparable-store sales growth,” said Tim Belk, chairman and chief executive officer. “The results are aided by investments in the business, including branding, store remodels, technology and a program on service excellence.”
He added that, in support of a rapidly growing e-commerce business, the company in June opened a 515,000-square-foot fulfillment center in Jonesville, S.C., representing a $4.5 million investment for the firm and the expected creation of 124 new jobs in the area.
Following a strong first-quarter performance, year-to-date sales and earnings grew faster than those for the most recent quarter. Net income for the six months rose 19 percent to $67.7 million from $56.9 million as revenues expanded 5.8 percent to $1.78 billion from $1.68 billion. Same-store sales were up 6.2 percent with gross margin at 33.5 percent of sales for both periods.
With 303 units in 16 Southeastern states, Belk is the largest privately held department store operator in the U.S. Its five-year investment budget for areas including store remodeling, service enhancements, marketing and e-commerce is about $600 million.
“Azzedine has been one of the biggest influences in my life. He has always been such a strong, loving, fatherly figure to me. I call him Papa. His designs are indescribably unique, they are pieces of art. He knew how to make the female form look its loveliest. I have so many memories of him; my favorite might be during my first show with him in Paris. He liked me and he wanted to help me get more work. He called all his friends at Kenzo and Comme des Garcons, and asked them to book me. They said, ‘But she can’t walk!’ And he said, ‘but she has such a great ass!' His friendship and support has been the great privilege of my career. I can't imagine life without him. Repose en paix mon Papa.” - @stephanieseymour tells @wwd. #wwdfashion (📷: @steveeichner) #alaia #azzedinealaia
Azzedine Alaïa, flanked by two of his closest friends, models Stephanie Seymour and Naomi Campbell.
He designed Seymour’s dress for her 1995 wedding to Peter Brant, and treated Campbell (who famously called him Papa), like a daughter. For more on the legendary designer, tap the link in bio. #wwdfashion #alaia #azzedinealaia
Azzedine Alaïa's “I-did-it-my-way” ethos stood out starkly at a time when brands are experimenting with consumer-facing fashion shows, coed formats and trans-seasonal collections – anything to perk up lackluster sales of ready-to-wear in an age of Insta-everything. “It’s not creation anymore. This becomes a purely industrial approach,” the late designer told WWD in an interview last year. “But anyway, the rhythm of collections is so stupid. It’s unsustainable. There are too many collections.” Read more about the iconic designer’s life and work on wwd.com, link in bio. #wwdfashion #azzedinealaia (📷: @WWD Archive, 1986) #alaia
Sneaker reselling app @goat’s latest exhibit, "The Greatest: New York," tells the story of New York's sneaker culture. To celebrate the exhibit, an intimate crowd gathered on Thursday night at the pop-up gallery space, located at Platform in Culver City, to hear guest speaker and illustrator @esymai talk about her own rise in streetwear and women in the business. "For me I'm just someone who is creative. I like to create things," said Chang. #wwdfashion
Azzedine Alaïa, one of the most iconic couturiers of the modern era whose body-con designs defined Eighties fashion, has died in Paris. The diminutive Tunisian-born designer, known for his structured knitted dresses with fitted waists and impeccably cut, figure-hugging second skin silhouettes was deeply admired by his peers, and counted supermodel Naomi Campbell - his adoptive daughter - among his inner circle, one of a gang of glamazons including Farida Khelfa, Carla Bruni and Stephanie Seymour who became ambassadors of his style. (📷: Alexandre Guirkinger) #wwdblast