Collective Brands Q4 Loss Less Than Expected, Sales Up

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A color block style from Payless ShoeSource, a division of Collective Brands

Topeka, KA—Collective Brands Inc. Tuesday reported a wider fourth quarter loss but one less expected thanks to sales of its lower priced footwear.

For the quarter ended Jan. 28, the company, parent of Payless ShoeSource, posted a net loss of $41.6 million, or 69 cents a share, compared to a net loss of $10 million, or 16 cents a share, last year.

Excluding $11.5 million in costs related to its strategic alternative plans, which include shuttering stores, the adjusted loss narrowed to $36.6 million, or 61 cents a share.

Net sales for the quarter rose to $816 million from $773.8 million last year. Excluding the impact of third-party store liquidations, sales were up 3.6 percent to $802 million from last year. Analysts expected sales of $781.19 million for the quarter.

Total sales rose 5% to $815.9 million with comparable store sales up 1.7%.

New Strategy Initiatives ‘Gaining Traction’

Analysts’ average estimate expected a larger loss of 82 cents a share on lower sales of $781.19 million.

“We believe our Payless team’s initiatives are gaining traction and driving results, which gives us confidence as we move forward,” said Michael Massey, ceo.

By division, Payless’ U.S. store sales grew 0.7% with comparable store sales increasing 1.6%. Compelling price points drove increases in conversion, units, and units per transaction, the company said.

Payless International sales rose 2.3% while comparable store sales declined 0.8% percent. Sales growth was driven by new stores in Jamaica, the franchise channel and Canada, but comparable store sales declined in Puerto Rico and Latin America.

PLG Wholesale sales jumped 21.2% led by the Sperry Top-Sider brand across all product categories. PLG Retail net sales increased 13.5% while comparable store sales grew 9.6%

During the quarter, Collective Brands opened 13 new stores, and closed 323 stores. The closures are part of the company’s plan to shutter nearly 475 under-performing stores by 2013.

As of Jan. 28, Collective Brands operated 4,496 stores, compared to 4,844 stores in the prior year.




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