While DSW's management feels that the athleisure trend may have peaked in the U.S., judging from the recent results of Gap and Abercombie & Fitch, the management of Shoe Carnival, whose stores tend to cater to the whole family, sees no end to it, especially in the women's sector. While its sales of non-athletic shoes for men were up by a mid-single digit on a comparable store basis in the third quarter ended Oct. 28, those of women's non-athletic styles were down by low single digits.
Shoe Carnival reported a sales increase of 4.7 percent to $287.5 million for the quarter. On a same-store basis, sales increased by 4.4 percent. The gross profit margin decreased by 0.1 percent to 29.8 percent. Net income of $10.7 million was 10.6 percent higher than in the same period a year ago.
The American retailer said the quarterly results reflect the strength of its selection of family footwear for the back-to-school season and Shoe Carnival's increasing multi-channel presence. Despite the three hurricanes that struck Texas, Florida and Puerto Rico, the company experienced solid increases for the quarter.
The company opened seven new stores during the third quarter and closed one, ending up with 424 locations. With 16 additional stores due to be closed in the fourth quarter and no opening planned, Shoe Carnival will have opened 19 stores and closed 26 stores during the current financial year. The store count had gone up last year with 19 openings and nine closures. The company plans to open less than five stores in the new years, and it may shut down between 30 and 35 units if they continue to underperform.
On the other hand, Shoe Carnival is reaping benefits from efforts to enhance the store experience, for example by adding shop-in-shops. It has enhanced the performance and reliability of its e-commerce operation. It has launched an SMS program advising customers on new arrivals and done more digital marketing.
Shoe Carnival has raised its guidance for the financial year. it is projecting sales in the range of $1.020 billion to $1.025 billion, which will be flat or up by a low single digit on a same-store basis.