NEW YORK — Tumi Holdings Inc. experienced growth in all parts of its business except for North American wholesale operations as the accessories and travel product firm narrowly exceeded analysts’ expectations for third-quarter profits.
In the three months ended Sept. 29, the South Plainfield, N.J.-based company boosted net income 15.2 percent to $12.1 million, or 18 cents a diluted share, 1 cent higher than the consensus estimate of analysts. Year-ago profits were $10.5 million, or 15 cents.
Revenues accelerated 13.6 percent, to $108.9 million from $95.9 million, as gross margin expanded to 58.8 percent of sales from 57.6 percent a year ago.
By business segment, North American direct-to-consumer sales rose 16.6 percent to $47.2 million and international DTC was up 26 percent to $6.1 million. While international wholesale operations advanced 23.6 percent to $31.6 million, North American wholesale revenues declined 3.9 percent, to $24 million.
Michael Mardy, chief financial officer, told analysts on a Thursday afternoon conference call that some of the decline in North American wholesale was part of a series of “limitations” the company had placed on its business with retailers on the continent to combat unauthorized resale and diversion.
“This has become a more significant issue as brand awareness and the desirability of the Tumi brand have grown in [Asian] markets,” he said. “In addition, we had fewer off-price sales in the quarter.”
He estimated that self-imposed limits on North American wholesale subtracted about $2.5 million in revenue, partially offset by growth in U.S. department stores and increases in the company’s Canadian wholesale business.
Jerome Griffith, president and chief executive officer, noted that the company had introduced its Global Citizen marketing campaign in August and backed it with a push in the New York market beginning in October. “We’re getting great feedback on the campaign,” he said, “as it utilizes both traditional and social media but, more importantly, we see this as the long-term strategy to build brand awareness and loyalty for the brand and our broader product offering.”
The new campaign nudged Tumi’s marketing spend up about 40 percent in the third quarter. “And we anticipate this trend and spending to continue into the fourth quarter,” Griffith said. “Going beyond that, we believe just focusing on speaking about our brand directly with our consumer more often...will help us effectively cement our position as the travel lifestyle brand.”
In the first three quarters of the year, net income rose 70.2 percent to $33.8 million, or 50 cents a diluted, share, as revenues grew 17.8 percent, to $320 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