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Fashion retailer $BKE said that Patricia Whisler, the company's Senior Vice President of Women's Merchandising, will retire from her post later this spring. Ms. Whisler helped develop the company's private label brands, which have been a key complement to strong selection of brands offered in the company's stores.
$BKE's BoD at its quarterly meeting elected Thomas Heacock as a board member effective immediately. Heacock currently serves as VP of Finance, Treasurer and CFO, a position he has held since July 20, 2017. Heacock will continue to serve as a member of the Board's Executive Committee.
$BKE announced that comparable store net sales, for stores open at least one year, for the 4-week period ended Nov. 25, 2017 decreased 3.6% from a year ago. Net sales for the 4-week fiscal month ended November 25, 2017 decreased 4% to $78.3MM.
$BKE reported net sales for the month of August 2017 of $80.3MM, down 7.9% from last year's sales of $87.2MM. Comparable store net sales, for stores open at least one year, for the month decreased 7.9%. Net sales for the 30-week period ended Aug. 26, 2017 fell 10.1% to $488.2MM and comparable store sales declined 10%.
The teen clothing retailer $BKE reported 8% drop in its 2Q17 net sales to $195.7MM. The company has been continuing with sluggish comparable store sales as it reported a 8% drop during the quarter. Net income fell to $11.5MM, or $0.24 per share, compared with $15.5MM, or $0.32 per share during 2Q16.
$BKE has appointed Thomas Heacock as its VP of Finance, Treasurer and CFO with immediate effect. Heacock previously served as the company’s VP of Finance, Treasurer and Corporate Controller. He’s with the company since Oct, 2003. Heacock replaces Karen Rhoads, who in May announced her intention to retire.
$BKE said its comparable store net sales, for stores open at least one year, for the 5-week period ended July 1, 2017 slid 5.8% YoY. Net sales for this period fell 5.9% to $73.6MM compared to net sales of $78.3MM for the prior-year period.
$BKE continues to look at new ways to market the online business and make improvements here. $BKE believes that some of the decline in this business in 1Q17 was due to the retail prices being down an average of 6.5% for the company. $BKE also reduced some of the markdown in denim. The company will work on growing this business.
Adding to the mounting woes in the retail industry, $BKE reported 13% decline in net sales in 1Q17 to $212.3MM. Comparable store sales decreased 12.7%, while online sales were down 7.2% to $21.8MM. Net income slipped to $16.3MM, or $0.34 per share, from $23.1MM, or $0.48 per share a year ago.
$BKE reported net sales for the month of April 2017 of $62.6MM, down 3.9% from $65.2MM last year. Comparable store net sales, for stores open at least one year, declined 3.5%. For the 13-week period ended April 29, 2017, net sales fell 12.8% to $212.3MM and comparable store net sales dropped 12.7%.
$BKE reported comparable store net sales, for stores open at least one year, for the month of March 2017 decreased 10.1%. Net sales for the month of March declined 10.1% to $86.8MM from last year. Net sales for the 9-week period ended April 1, 2017 dropped 16.1% to $149.6MM and comparable store sales decreased 16.1%.
$BKE said the decline in online sales in 4Q16 was partly due to some impact from the markdown on denim versus last year. The clearance on tops was also not as efficient as the previous year. $BKE will audit and review its marketing and digital areas to see what improvements can be made and believes it can change the trend in the near future.
$BKE's men’s merchandise sales for 4Q16 were down approx. 9%. The men’s business was approx. 53% of net sales in 4Q16. Women’s merchandise sales were down approx. 21% and this category was approx. 47% of sales in 4Q16. Combined accessories sales were down approx. 12.5% and combined footwear sales were down approx. 20.5% for 4Q16.
In 4Q16, $BKE’s online sales decreased 8.8% to $32.2MM. Gross margin for the quarter was 44.9%, down approx. 210BP from 47% last year. The decrease was driven primarily by deleveraged occupancy, buying and distribution expenses relating from the comparable store sales decline which had about a 270BP impact.
Challenging and evolving retail environment as well as lower sales hurt $BKE's earnings in 4Q16. Net income fell to $36MM or $0.74 per share from $54.34MM or $1.13 per share last year. Sales dropped to $279.96MM from $332.03MM. Comparable store net sales decreased 16.1%.