Belk Inc. was able to drive down expenses faster than its customers brought down sales, helping the privately held department store group boost profits by 14.6 percent in the second quarter.
In the three months ended Aug. 1, net income rose to $9.4 million from $8.2 million in the year-ago quarter. Sales fell 8.3 percent, to $760.3 million from $829.3 million, and contracted 9.4 percent on a same-store basis.
However, the cost of goods sold, which includes occupancy costs, fell 9 percent, to $522.4 million, and selling, general and administrative expenses were down the same percentage, to $211.1 million.
The company cited “continued economic concerns” and the shift in state sales tax holidays in some of its markets in its explanation of the sales decline.
“While sales results reflected a continued weakness in consumer spending for the period, we were pleased to deliver increased profitability and a significantly improved cash position,” said Tim Belk, chairman and chief executive officer of the Charlotte, N.C.-based firm. “Our associates did an exceptional job of providing good customer service while managing expense and inventory levels in keeping with sales trends.”
In the half, net income was down 24.8 percent to $10 million from $13.3 million during the first half of 2008. Revenues were off 7.6 percent, to $1.52 billion from $1.65 billion, on an 8.5 percent same-store sales decrease.
With 307 stores in 16 Southeastern and Southern states, Belk is the largest privately held department stores company in the U.S. It reports financial results because of public debt.
@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)
Breaking News: @hedislimane joins @celine as its new artistic, creative and image director. One of fashion’s preeminent image-makers and trendsetters, Slimane is to join the LVMH brand on Feb. 1 and unveil his first fashion proposition for men and women next September during Paris Fashion Week. It marks a major homecoming for Slimane, who cemented his reputation – and influenced men’s tailoring for more than a decade – as the designer of Dior Homme between 2000 and 2007. He went on to reinvent and ignite the house of Yves Saint Laurent, which he rechristened Saint Laurent, between 2012 and 2016 – all the while maintaining a close relationship with the Arnault family, which controls LVMH and Dior. Read the full exclusive story on WWD.com. Link in bio. #wwdnews #wwdfashion
“Personally I believe the Eighties have been the richest and more vivacious period for international fashion,” Giorgio Armani said when asked what his favorite decade of fashion is. It was a moment of disruption and experimentation and only thinking back to the first years of that decade is always an emotion for me, for what they have meant to me and my work.” The influence is clear in @giorgioarmani spring 2018 collection, pictured here, which was full of bright colors and unexpected prints. Read more about which decades designers loved most on WWD.com #wwdfashion #wwddecades (📷: @aitorrosasphoto)
For Lady Gaga’s only Italian show on her “Joanne World Tour,” the singer wore a range of @versace_official outfits. The standout piece: this custom-made bodysuit inspired by the brand’s spring 2018 collection. #wwdfashion (RG: @ladygaga)
@_camillaruth_ is expanding on the wellness-craze concept with @westbourne – a new NYC restaurant that’s both a healthy-minded café as well as a business that gives back to the community. Marcus works with the Robin Hood foundation to give back to The Door, a non-profit providing youth development services, and also hires employees through The Door. Read our full interview with Marcus on giving back through food on WWD.com. #wwdeye (📷: @lexieblacklock)