Falling margins spawn red ink at Belk   

Charlotte, N.C. – Southern regional department store chain Belk saw last year’s third-quarter profit of $23.1 million swing to a net loss of $6.9 million this year, a result it allayed to a crunch in gross margins.

The complete explanation included: “a decrease in gross margin as a result of taking accelerated markdowns in response to unseasonable weather and a softening sales environment during the period, higher interest expense, and gains in the prior period related to the sale of investments and property insurance settlements resulting from Hurricane Katrina.”

While overall sales grew 1.8% to $808.3 million in the most recent period, comp store sales fell 4.4%.

The year-to-date sales picture is much brighter, and the earnings view is at least in the black. Sales for the first nine months are up a healthy 13.8% to $2.59 billion, with a comp sales increase of 0.2%. Earnings for the period are $10.1 – or $15.7 million excluding non-comparable items – against last year’s $60.8 million through three quarters.

Belk, with a store count now of 303, is still working through its Parisian acquisition. On Sept. 12 it officially re-opened 25 Parisian stores (acquired from Saks Inc. in October 2006) under the Belk nameplate.

The company is investing about $108 million in renovations and expansions of the stores, most of which have added full line home departments.

Home & Textiles Today Staff | News & Commentary

 Home Textiles Today is the market-leading brand covering the home and textiles markets, offering a comprehensive package of print and online products. Home & Textiles Today provides industry news, product trends and introductions, exclusive industry research, consumer data, store operations solutions, trade show news and much more.

Featured Video

  • Live From New York: Fashion Comes Across the Pond

    Camera Icon More Videos

Subscribe to
Home & Textiles Today eDaily
Receive the news you need to know about the trends in the industry delivered right to your inbox.

CURRENT ISSUE

HTT Current issue for September 2017

See the September 2017 issue of Home & Textiles Today. In this issue, we look at the Attack of the Killer Third Tier: Monster off-pricers are climbing to the top of the food chain, plus New Products: 40 pages of new products debuting at the New York Home Fashions Market; Home Stores: TJX unveils first U.S. HomeSense store; Clicks to Bricks: Boll & Branch moves from digital to physical retailing; and much more... See details!