KNOXVILLE, Tenn. — Goody’s Family Clothing Inc. hopes to sell more special-size apparel and lots of its new Duck Head brand, but the firm itself won’t be available for purchasing, its chief executive said.
At the company’s annual meeting at its corporate headquarters here Wednesday, Robert Goodfriend, chairman and chief executive, called last year’s attempted sale of the company, later aborted, “a bad experience” and said there are neither negotiations under way regarding a sale of the company nor plans for another sale.
Talks about a possible acquisition of Goody’s ended Nov. 1. The prospective buyer was never identified.
Reiterating plans to build the recently acquired Duck Head brand into a $35 million to $40 million business within three years, Goodfriend said Goody’s will be the exclusive retailer of the brand in the U.S.
“It is a great brand in the Southeast,” Goodfriend said in an interview. “We can fix the brand. It has gone through four or five owners in 10 years and nobody had done it very well.”
Prior to its acquisition of the brand from Tropical Sportswear International Corp. for $4 million in cash earlier this month, Goody’s had a 30-year sales history with the brand and ranked as its largest customer.
The brand is licensed in Japan, and there are U.S. licensees in areas including shoes, belts and leather goods and eye glasses. Goody’s expects to eventually license the brand in Europe once it’s up and running in the U.S.
While Goody’s hopes the Duck Head line will help to improve margins, particularly in men’s wear, Goodfriend said Duck Head sales may come at some cost to its own private labels, such as Ivy Crew.
Goodfriend noted that spring has brought about a dramatic increase in women’s sales because of capri pants. While Duck Head is expected for enhance the men’s business, which accounts for 19 percent of sales, he characterized men’s as a tough sale as the industry casts about for a dominant item to equal the power of phenomena such as the leisure suit, Nehru jacket or Members Only jacket.
Prompted by overwhelming requests from customers, Goody’s is expanding its plus-size offerings, which are already the fastest growing segment of the business. Special sizes figure prominently in its merchandising plans, which include the addition of plus sizes for petites, juniors and girls, as well as wide-width shoes and a husky line for boys.
After a recent concentration on existing stores, Goody’s expects to open 10 stores in 2003 and about 20 next year. Currently in 18 states, mainly in the Southeast, Goody’s is actively looking at expansion into Kansas and Pennsylvania. After these, Maryland and Delaware are possible targets. Goodfriend said there is still room for expansion in Texas, Oklahoma and Missouri. “By no means, have we saturated those yet,” he said.
Goody’s currently has 328 stores.
Goodfriend said internal expectation for yearend earnings are above the 44 cents a share First Call estimate, which itself is nearly twice the 23 cent EPS tally of 2002.
The company has 1.3 million Goody’s credit cards that accounted for 13 percent of sales in 2002, with that number at 14 percent so far in 2003.
Citing stronger results and a healthy capital posture, Goody’s board declared an initial quarterly dividend of 2 cents a share payable on Sept. 15 to shareholders of record Aug. 1.