Belk Q2 Profit Rises as Comp Sales Post Another Gain

Belk is sponsoring the accessories wall on the current season of TV's "Project Runway"

Belk is sponsoring the accessories wall on the current season of TV’s “Project Runway”

Charlotte, NC—Boasting its 14th consecutive quarter of comparable store sales increases, Belk Inc. reported Wednesday that its second quarter income rose 11.3%.

For the quarter ended August 3, the department store posted net income of $30.5 million compared with net income of $27.4 million in its second quarter last year.

Net sales rose 3.6% to $899.5 million with comparable store sales up 3.2%. Sales were reportedly strongest in men’s, kids, active wear, women’s contemporary sportswear and dresses.

E-Commerce Sales Soar

The company credited its strong e-commerce sales—which jumped 48.5% during the quarter—with helping to boost sales figures. Online sales accounted for about 1.3% of the comp sales increase.

“Although we continue to see a softening retail environment, we are pleased to report another quarter of sales and earnings growth driven in part by the investments we are making in the business,” says Tim Belk, chairman and chief executive. “While those investments impact our short-term profitability, we are confident they will position us well for the future.”

The company has been investing in “key strategies” such as branding, technology and other customer-service initiatives. Belk also has said it plans to invest about $100 million in some 45 real estate projects this fiscal year including remodels, expansions and upgrades at exciting locations.

For its first half of its fiscal year, Belk saw its earnings slide 13.2% to $58.7 million due to the costs of its strategic initiatives and a decline in margin rate. First half sales grew 4.4% to $1.86 billion with comparable store sales up 4.2%. E-commerce sales were up 57.6% and accounted for 1.5% of the total comp store sales increase.

 

 

 

 

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Jeff Prine

Jeff Prine, Editor at Large, Accessories Magazine
Jeff returns as a regular contributor to Accessories magazine. Initially Jeff worked as senior editor at Accessories more than 20 years ago and his love of the industry has followed him until present. Since his tenure here, Jeff has continued to report jewelry, watch and other luxury goods trends as executive editor at Modern Jeweler magazine, fashion director at Lustre, and as contributor on products and trends for consumer and trade publications and websites. In addition to his editorial experience, Jeff also served as an adjunct instructor for accessories merchandising at Fashion Institute of Technology. jeffp@busjour.com