NEW YORK — Finish Line Inc. ran up hefty increases in first-quarter sales and profits as apparel grew in importance to the footwear-focused retailer.
Net income shot up 77.9 percent to $6.5 million, or 28 cents a diluted share, from $3.7 million, or 15 cents, a year ago.
Sales for the 13 weeks ended May 31 climbed 21.8 percent to $207.8 million from $170.6 million a year ago. Comparable-store sales advanced 14 percent.
Footwear comps rose 10 percent while same-store sales for apparel and accessories leaped 37 percent.
Soft goods accounted for 22 to 23 percent of the Finish Line’s business during the quarter, or as much as $47.8 million, up from 20 percent during the previous fiscal year.
“Apparel is being driven by licensed [merchandise],” said president and chief executive Alan Cohen in a statement.
The licensed business is on track to make up as much as 60 percent of the firm’s total apparel business, a larger portion than initially planned, he said. Private label and branded apparel each comprise 20 percent of Finish Line’s apparel trade.
“There are a lot of different things going on in licensed and it’s not just all of us going back after the same thing season after season after season,” said Cohen. “We’re approaching it much more from a fashion perspective. Obviously, it’s a team business and there’s a fan base there, but also there’s a lot of fashion involved in license now that didn’t exist to this degree.”
From college and professional sports to retro merchandise, Cohen added, “A lot of different things are working.”
“We’re seeing a tremendous amount of opportunity in women’s in licensed,” he noted. “This is something that never really existed before, but we’re having some success with some of the women’s licensed product that we’re bringing in and we think that’s going to continue.”
Branded apparel is not performing as well as the firm would like, though private label’s seen success in basics.
On the larger, footwear side of the business, Cohen said Finish Line could have more than 50 percent of its product differentiated from its primary competition in the mall.“Things have dramatically changed because of what Nike is doing with their new distribution policy in the U.S. and probably changed from our perspective in the most important way,” he said. “We’re talking about certainly launch product, statement product and elite product and that’s, for the most part, the high-end product — especially programs like Shox. There just aren’t that many points of distribution going forward in the mall in that kind of product.”
Taking the final spot on the mens’ portion of New York Fashion Week calendar next month will be none other than @tomford. Though he’s shown his men’s wear in New York in the past, this will mark the first time the designer has shown his men’s collection alone during New York Fashion Week: Men’s. His runway show will debut on February 6 at the Park Avenue Armory. #wwdfashion
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Minnie Mouse celebrated her 90th birthday by getting her own star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. For her celebratory luncheon, @coach’s creative director @stuartvevers dressed her in a custom made prairie dress, complete with Vever’s take on the polka dot – black sequined versions – under a cropped motorcycle jacket. The designer also put his own mark on Minnie’s classic red shoes, infusing the color with sparkles and adding some Coach crystals. “We chose colors that were very Minnie and also represented quintessential Coach elements,” said Vevers. #wwdfashion #nationalpolkadotday (📷: George Chinsee)
@nickjonas is unveiling his first-ever apparel collection through a partnership with John Varvatos. The limited-edition capsule, which makes its debut in spring, also marks the first time the designer has collaborated with anyone on a line. “The process in working with Nick is amazing. It’s inspiring to be around someone who is not only connected with the trade that they do, but also with what’s happening in the environment around him, and how that connects to what we do with style,” said Varvatos. (RG: @johnvarvatos) #wwdfashion
@margotrobbie steps out onto the red carpet wearing @miumiu. The actress is nominated for “Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Leading Role” in “I, Tonya” at the #SagAwards. (📷: Stewart Cook) #wwdfashion
For @massimogiorgetti of @msgm, the Nineties are his favorite decade. “They had a huge impact on my personal growth. What I like of the Nineties is that they are not so precise in terms of style as other decades…there was actually a bit of everything,” he said. As seen on MSGM’s Spring 2018 show: tie-dye and a bit of grunge, two styles that are synonymous with the decade #wwdfashion #wwddecades (📷: @kukukuba)