For the quarter ended Nov. 2, Belk posted net income of $3.6 million compared with income of $11.1 million a year ago.
Net sales increased 2.8% to $860.7 million. Comparable store sales grew for the 15th consecutive quarter with a 3.5% gain. The sales increase for the period resulted primarily from a continuation of strong e-commerce sales and execution of the company’s key strategies.
Merchandise categories achieving the highest growth rate were contemporary sportswear, shoes, accessories, men’s and kid’s apparel. The company’s e-commerce sales increased 44.8% for the third quarter, contributing 1.5% of the comparable store sales increase.
“Comparable sales grew 3.5 percent in the quarter, aided by colder weather and the investments we have made in the business, including store remodels, e-commerce and supply chain,” said Tim Belk, chairman/ceo.
“November is the ‘go live’ month for a new technology platform which includes replacement of much of our IT infrastructure and a new merchandising system,” Belk noted. “In addition, we are testing technology to fulfill belk.com orders from stores to support our digital business, which grew 45% in the quarter. These investments will add expense and impact earnings over the next 18 months.”
Belk previously announced that it will open two new flagship stores next year at Dallas Galleria and Bridge Street Town Center in Huntsville, Ala. Belk at Friendly Center in Greensboro, N.C. and Belk of Mount Pleasant Town Centre in Mt. Pleasant, S.C., are also being expanded and remodeled as part of their conversion to flagship stores. In addition, the current flagship store at Riverchase Galleria in Hoover, Ala. will undergo a major remodeling.