Impacted by corporate investments, including spending on a new distribution center in the U.S. Midwest, LaCrosse Footwear suffered a net loss of $692,000 in the first quarter ended March 28, against income of $779,000 for the same period a year ago. It was the company’s first quarterly loss since 2004. Total revenues grew by 5 percent to $25.9 million.
Sales of outdoor footwear were essentially flat at $6.9 million versus $6.8 million. Work footwear revenues were 6 percent higher at $19.0 million, fueled by sales to the U.S. government but negatively impacted by two bankruptcies.
The gross margin for the quarter fell by 2.8 percentage points to 37.9 percent on higher marked-down sales, higher sourcing costs and investments on a factory in Portland, Oregon. The company said it continued to gain market share in the quarter despite overall retail demand that was “at historic lows.”