Buckle sales fall 6% in fourth quarter
Kearney, Nebraska-based apparel, accessories and footwear retailer The Buckle, Inc. reported declines in sales and earnings for both the fourth quarter and the full fiscal year 2018 on Friday, as slight progress in the company’s digital channel failed to compensate for weak in-store sales.
Buckle’s net sales for the fourth quarter ended February 2, 2019 decreased 6% to $264.4 million, compared to $281.2 million in the prior-year period. While online sales were up 1.3% from $33.5 million to $33.9 million, comparable store sales fell 6%.
In the youth-focused retailer’s quarterly earnings conference call, it was further revealed that, by category, Buckle’s womenswear sales decreased around 8.5%, while sales in menswear fell 3.5%.
The company did, however, manage to cut operating expenses from $72.55 million to $70.09 million during the quarter.
Nonetheless, these savings were not enough to prevent Buckle’s net income from falling to $41.1 million, or $0.84 per diluted share, from $42.0 million, or $0.87 per diluted share, in the equivalent period in the previous year.
The company’s full-year net sales decreased 3.1% to $885.5 million, down from $913.4 million in fiscal 2017. Comparable store sales declined 0.9%.
Once again, online sales were something of a bright spot, increasing 5.6% to $103.7 million, compared to $98.2 million in the previous year.
The company’s full-year net income totaled $95.6 million, or $1.97 per diluted share, down from $89.7 million, or $1.85 per diluted share, in 2017.
In the fourth quarter, Buckle closed three stores and now operates 450 retail locations in 42 US states, compared to 457 stores in 44 states at the same time last year. In 2019, the retailer currently plans to open one new store.
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