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.