Duluth Holdings Inc. (NASDAQ:DLTH) Q2 2019 Earnings Conference Call - Final Transcript
Sep 12, 2019 • 09:30 am ET
[Operator Instructions] The first question will come from Jonathan Komp from Robert W. Baird.
Yeah, hi. Thank you. Steve, I just wanted to maybe start and just ask a broad question. Given that transitioned in place and your positioned back in the leadership role, can you just give an update on kind of what you see over time? Do you expect to initiate any type of search for a permanent replacement, or how long might you be committed to overseeing operations in the current role you are?
Stephen L. Schlecht
Good morning, Jon. Well, as I told our Board, I'm all in this and very willing to spend the time that it takes to complete the search, but also to make sure that we have a very successful fourth quarter this year and we build the roadmap for 2020. I really see us starting the search in early 2020. And our focus will be on someone who really has strong brand credentials, merchandising, marketing, retail and direct marketing. Those will be a lot of things we'll be looking for. So hopefully, we'll have the search completed by mid-to-late 2020, Jon.
Okay, great. That's helpful. And maybe a question about the comments into 2020 and the decision that this moderate the retail growth, maybe just bigger picture conceptually, how you're thinking about that moderation. Is that more of a pause temporarily till the business gets back on more of a solid footing from an operating margin and earnings perspective? Do you think that's a longer-term shift? And maybe if you could just talk about some of the benefits you expect to accrue from just being able to focus more on the core business and maybe less on the rapid retail expansion?
Stephen L. Schlecht
Well, yes, it is somewhat of a pause. But we're still committed to a national footprint with our stores in the future. My objective here is to see us improve our operating ratio. And to do that, part of it is to slow down the growth of the business. We've digested a lot over the last two years, took on a lot of changes and whatnot, and I think it's time that we really focus on executing well and continue to build the brand.
Dave, do you have anything else that you might add to his question at this point?
Yeah, Jon. We don't have the longer range plans detailed out yet. Moderating capital growth into next year is a combination of focusing on what we've already invested, but also some cautiousness on where the economy, where the industry might be going and just not getting too far ahead of ourselves in terms of deploying more capital. But it doesn't mean that we don't think the brand still has the same long-term growth opportunity that we've always articulated. So, nothing is really set in stone on that longer range growth. We're still targeting the range of -- our long range objectives as we always have.
Okay. And maybe just one follow up, Dave. Following