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Belk Q1 income drops 32%

Charlotte – Belk said its income for the first quarter fell almost 32 percent, a result of flat sales and higher expenses.
Profit was $19.3 million for the quarter ending May 3, compared to $28.2 in the year-ago quarter. Sales were $955.1 million, compared to $955.8 million in the first quarter last year. Comp store sales slipped 0.2%.
Belk has been remodeling and opening new stores and investing in its e-commerce building, part of a three-year plan to invest more than $700 million in strategic initiatives. Online sales grew 42% from last year, but represent only 1.8% of the department stores’ same-store sales for the quarter.
“Although the investments we are making in the company will continue to impact our short term profitability, we are building a solid foundation for long term growth and success,” said Tim Belk, ceo.

Belk recently launched a private brand collection for home by designer Cynthia Rowley that includes linens, bedding, dec pillows and other home decor.

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