Ladies and gentlemen, thank you for standing by, and welcome to the Buckle's First Quarter Earnings Release. At this point, all the participants lines are in a listen-only mode. There will be an opportunity for your questions and instructions will be given at that time. (Operator Instructions) As a reminder, today's call is being recorded.
Members of Buckle's management on the call today are Dennis Nelson, President and CEO; Tom Heacock, Senior Vice President of Finance, Treasurer and CFO; Kelli Molczyk, Vice President of Women's Merchandising; Bob Carlberg, Senior Vice President of Men's Merchandising; and Brady Fritz, General Counsel and Corporate Secretary.
As they review the operating results for the first quarter, which ended May 4, 2019, we would like to reiterate their policy of not giving future sales or earnings guidance and have the following safe harbor statement, which is under the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. All forward-looking statements made by the Company involve material risks and uncertainties and are subject to change based on factors which may be beyond the Company's control. Accordingly, the Company's future performance and financial results may differ materially from those expressed or implied in any such forward-looking statements. Such factors include, but are not limited to, those described in the Company's filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission.
The Company does not undertake to publicly update or revise any forward-looking statements, even if experience or future changes make it clear that any projected results expressed or implied therein will not be realized. Additionally, the Company does not authorize the reproduction or dissemination of transcripts or audio recordings of the Company's quarterly conference calls without its expressed written consent. Any unauthorized reproductions or recordings of the call should not be relied upon as the information may be inaccurate.
I'll now turn it over to the Company. Please go ahead.
Good morning, and thanks for joining us on the call this morning. Our May 24, 2019, press release reported that net income for the 13-week first quarter ended May 4, 2019, was $15.1 million, or $0.31 per share on a diluted basis compared to net income of $18.3 million, or $0.38 per share on a diluted basis for the prior year 13-week first quarter, which ended May 5, 2015.
Net sales for the 13-week first quarter decreased 1.7% to $201.3 million compared to net sales of $204.9 million for the prior year 13-week first quarter. Comparable store sales for the 13-week fiscal period ended May 4, 2019, decreased 1.3% from comparable store sales for the prior year 13-week period ended May 5, 2018. Online sales for the quarter increased 5.6% to $24.4 million for the 13-week fiscal period, which compares to net sales of $23.1 million for the prior year 13-week fiscal period. For the quarter, UPTs increased approximately 3.5%. The average unit retail decreased approximately 3.5%, and the average transaction value decreased just slightly.
Gross margin for the quarter was 38.1%, down 80 basis points from 38.9% in the prior year first
Senior Vice President, Finance, Treasurer and Chief Financial Officer