Designer Brands returns to profit in Q1
Designer Brands Inc., the owner of the DSW Designer Shoe Warehouse, The Shoe Company, and Shoe Warehouse retail chains, as well as the Camuto manufacturing group, announced net income of $17.0 million, or $0.22 per diluted share, in the first quarter ended May 1, 2021.
This was the first profit seen by the Columbus, Ohio-based company since the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic. In the same period in the previous year, the group reported a net loss $215.9 million, or $3.00 per diluted share.
Net sales at the company in Q1 2021 were $703.2 million, up 45.6% from $482.8 million in the prior-year period. Comparable sales increased 52.2%, compared to a 42.3% decrease in Q1 2020.
Broken down by segment, Designer Brands’ sales increased 31.1% to $193.1 million in its U.S. retail segment, 26.7% to $10.8 million in its Canada retail segment, and 20.8% to $11.9 million in its brand portfolio.
“Designer Brands is off to a strong start in fiscal 2021,” commented Designer Brands CEO Roger Rawlins in a release. “Our success was driven by green shoots in areas of the business that had been previously affected by the pandemic, synergies from our vertical capabilities coming to life, which allowed us to capitalize on positive trends faster than ever before, and our assortment strategy focused on athleisure, kids and seasonal products.”
The company has been working to adapt to the changes in consumer behavior caused by the Covid-19 pandemic since the second half of last year, pivoting its assortment towards athleisure – a category that has remained comparatively strong throughout the health crisis – and improving its digital capabilities.
Over the course of the first quarter, Designer Brands opened two stores and closed five in the U.S., ending the period with a total of 516 locations in the country. In Canada, the company currently operates 145 stores, having opened two and closed one during the first quarter.
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