Belk profits down, adds private brands
Home & Textiles Today Staff -- Home Textiles Today, May 29, 2008
Charlotte, N.C. – Southeastern department store operator Belk Inc. saw first-quarter profits slashed as sales fell, but the retailer launched two private label programs and continued to integrate 25 former Parisian stores into the chain.
Net income at the 307-store, privately held company was $5.1 million for the first quarter, down 46.3% from $9.5 million in the same period one year ago. Chairman and ceo Tim Belk noted that SG&A costs were reduced, as were inventory levels. “We continue to maintain a strong balance sheet that will enable the company to weather the downturn and move forward with our key strategic initiatives,” he said.
Sales of $817.3 million were down 9.6% from $904.5 million in the year-ago period, as comps fell 8.7%.
Belk has introduced its exclusive, private label Lorena Garcia brand in housewares and bedding products. The company also launched Pro Tour golf apparel for men during the quarter.
Garcia is a chef who has appeared on a range of television programs including the current “Sazón con Lorena Garcia” on Utilisima, as well as “El Arte del Buen Gusto” and “Big Chef, Little Chef.”
Celebrity Branding at NY Home Fashions Market