Belk Inc. got a good sales gain during the first quarter but the bottom line fell 30 percent due to increased promotions and investments in new strategies.
Net income for the quarter ended May 4 reached $28.2 million, compared to $40.3 million in the year-ago period, while net sales increased 5.1 percent to $956 million and comparable-store sales gained 5.2 percent. E-commerce sales grew 67 percent over the same prior-year period. Online sales positively affected comparable-store sales by 1.6 percent in the quarter.
“Our sales growth for the quarter remained strong as we continue to benefit from the investments we are making in the business,” Tim Belk, chairman and chief executive officer, said Monday. “The bottom line was impacted by lower margins resulting from increased promotions as well as the expense associated with the investments. While those investments will increase our expense in the short term, we expect them to generate strong future returns.”
Charlotte, N.C.-based Belk attributed the sales gain to increased promotions and investments in ongoing strategic merchandising, marketing, branding, e-commerce and service initiatives. Accessories, cosmetics, fine jewelry, men’s and kids were the best performing categories.
In outlining its strategic initiatives, Belk, which is celebrating its 125th anniversary this year, said it completed shoe and jewelry expansions and remodels in 24 stores last quarter, and launched two private brands this spring — Made Cam Newton men’s wear, and Cynthia Cynthia Rowley for women’s apparel and accessories. RELATED CONTENT: WWD Earnings Tracker >>
This year, the $3.8 billion, 301-unit Belk is planning to open a store in New Braunfels, Tex., and two replacement stores in Morganton and Salisbury, N.C. The retailer also has on tap for this year eight store expansions, nine remodels and expansions and remodels of watches and sunglasses departments in 25 stores. Belk previously revealed plans to open flagships in 2014 at the Galleria in Dallas and Bridge Street Town Centre in Huntsville, Ala. It also plans to expand and convert the Flowood, Miss., Greensboro, N.C., and Mt. Pleasant, S.C., stores to flagships over the next two years.
@kering_official is spinning off its stake in puma in an effort to focus on its luxury brands, the brand operator announced yesterday. “We are proud to have supported the turnaround of Puma, which now has unrivaled capabilities to take full advantage of the specific dynamics of its global markets and is poised to achieve substantial growth,” said François-Henri Pinault, Kering’s chief executive officer and chairman. Artémis will become a “long-term strategic shareholder” of Puma with a 29 percent stake. #wwdnews #wwdfashion (📷: @jilliansollazzo)
The fashion world mourns for celebrated street style photographer, Nabile Quenum, who died at age 32 in Paris.
Quenum, creator of the fashion blog “J’ai Perdu Ma Veste,” was a fashion week fixture, and regularly shot for New York magazine’s The Cut, among other outlets, and brands such as Louis Vuitton, Moncler and Adidas. He was also actively involved in the #NoFreePhotos initiative, which kicked off in the fall. Read more about Quenum in @kbsmoke's story on WWD.com. #wwdnews
@verwanggang and @maisonladuree have teamed up on a dessert collab called Vera Wang Pour Ladurée. The collection, which launched this week, features a specialty macaroon, as well as a wedding cake inspired by one of the designer’s gowns. “I could not imagine a more delicate or sophisticated creation to grace any couple’s celebration,” said Wang. #wwdfashion
“I’m Russian and I love to use all these little tricks that I got from my grandma or my mom. We didn’t have a lot of money for creams or anything like that so we would use a garden as a beauty treatment regime. We’d put cucumber in the fridge and do a cucumber mask,” says model @irinashayk on one of her beauty hacks. WWD asked celebs what their go-to self-care rituals are. See what Naomie Harris, Freida Pinto and more said on WWD.com. #wwdeye #wwdbeauty (📷: @zefashioninsider)
Exclusive: @viktorandrolf are teaming up with @Zalando on a collection made from leftover clothing. The lineup, which lands at the retailer February 1, includes 17 pieces adorned with sliced up and repurposed overstock from the retailer’s private label collection. Pictured here is a look from the collection –– see more on WWD.com. #wwdfashion #wwdnews
@duewestnyc is the newest bar joining the collection of intimate neighborhood-focused spaces in the West Village. The cocktail menu, which includes bitters and syrups made in-house, offers a “Build Your Own Old-Fashioned” – like the one pictured here – where guests can choose from a list of spirits and unexpected sugars and bitters. #wwdeye
Spotted at last night’s National Board of Review gala in NYC: Angelina Jolie. Jolie – along with Meryl Streep, @lupitanyongo and more – continued the all-black dress code from Sunday’s Golden Globes. #wwdeye (📷: @lexieblacklock)