Burlington Stores, Inc. (NYSE:BURL) Q2 2019 Earnings Conference Call Transcript

Aug 29, 2019 • 08:30 am ET

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Burlington Stores, Inc. (NYSE:BURL) Q2 2019 Earnings Conference Call Transcript

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Presentation
Executive
Thomas A. Kingsbury

net new stores during the second quarter, and we continue to expect to open 75 new stores this year as well as close or relocate 25 stores for a net addition of 50 stores. We continue to feel very good about the current real estate environment as the availability of attractive locations remain very favorable.

Moving to category highlights. Our top performing businesses were home, including toys, beauty, missy sportswear including better and active, athletic men's and kids shoes, children's apparel, baby apparel and accessories and baby depot. Regarding geographic performance, the Northeast and Southwest performed above the chain average, while the West comped below.

We were very pleased with the progress we made managing our inventory as comp store inventories at the end of the second quarter were down 7%. In addition, over the course of the second quarter, comparable store inventory turnover improved 2% on top of last year's strong 11% improvement. We believe we are in excellent position to take advantage of what we view as a very favorable buying environment.

Given where we ended the second quarter, we now expect comp store inventory to be approximately flat at the end of the third quarter, in order to properly set up our cold weather assortments as we have discussed previously. We expect comparable store inventories to be down mid-to-high single-digits at the end of the fourth quarter as well as for the foreseeable future.

Inventory aged 91 days and older declined to record low levels as we focus on maintaining a fresh and exciting assortment for our customers. Pack and hold, an important tool in our off price model was pursued aggressively during the second quarter as we capitalized on great values available in the market. Pack and hold inventory represented 29% of our total inventory at the end of the second quarter versus 26% last year.

In addition, our inventory freshness metric, inventory received in our stores less than 30 days old, increased versus last year at the end of the second quarter. We continue to bring value to our shareholders as we repurchase approximately $51 million of common stock during the second quarter and $174 million year-to-date through the end of the second quarter. At the end of the quarter, we had $124 million remaining on the existing share repurchase authorization. In addition, I am pleased to announce that our Board approved an additional $400 million share repurchase plan, which is authorized to be completed over the next 24 months.

Before I move to our long-term strategic priorities, I wanted to update you on the tariff situation. As we said on the last call, only 6% of our receipts, our direct imports, and not all of them are subject to tariffs. Some of the recently implemented tariffs will be in effect on several merchandise categories this fall. Based on our current commitments, we do not expect a material financial net impact from these new tariffs as we have deployed strategies to offset these costs. At