Buckle (BKE) Comparable Store Net Sales Fall 10.1% in March

The Buckle, Inc. BKE has been witnessing strength in its accessory category for a while. In addition, BKE’s online wing is consistently showing impressive performance. However, Buckle released soft sales data for March, wherein it reported lower sales and comparable store net sales (comps).

Shares of this on-trend apparel, accessories and footwear retailer have gained 0.6% in the past six months compared with the industry’s 9.7% growth. Let’s delve deeper.

March Data

We note that comps for the five-week period that ended Apr 1, 2023, fell 10.1% year over year. This followed comps decreases of 6.9% for February while increases of 6.1% and 7% for January and December were reported, respectively. Total net sales fell 9.2% to $113.4 million for the month under discussion from $124.9 million reported in the prior-year five-week period that ended Jan 1, 2022. Sales decreased 6.1% for February, while grew 6.9% for January and 7.9% for December.

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This Kearney, NE-based entity witnessed decreases in both men’s and women’s sides of the business. While accessory was the bright spot, the footwear category continued to struggle. On the men’s and women’s sides of the business, total sales slipped 8.5% and 12%, respectively, for the five-week period that ended Apr 1, 2023. While the men’s business contributed 52% of total sales, the women’s business accounted for 48%. For the fiscal month, overall price points on the men’s and women’s sides of the business were up 5.5% each for both divisions.

On combining the men’s and women’s categories, accessory sales for March 2023 climbed 5.5% year over year. However, footwear sales dropped 38% for the aforementioned period. The accessory and footwear categories accounted for 10.5% and 8%, respectively, of the current fiscal March net sales. Average accessory price points increased 10.5%, while average footwear price points rose slightly for the same fiscal month.

What’s More?

Year-to-date comps for the nine-week period that ended Apr 1, 2023, dipped 8.8% year over year. Net sales for the nine-week fiscal period that ended Apr 1, 2023, tumbled 7.9% to $195.9 million from net sales of $212.7 million recorded in the nine-week fiscal period that ended Apr 2, 2022.

This presently Zacks Rank #3 (Hold) player currently operates 439 retail outlets in 42 states, including the closing of a store in the fiscal month and the opening of one outlet in Fenton, MO. As of Apr 6, 2022, the company operated 439 stores across 42 states.

During fiscal 2022, Buckle opened four stores and completed 23 full remodels, 17 of which were relocated to the new outdoor shopping centers, while one store was shut down. For fiscal 2023, management expects to introduce six stores and complete12-17 full remodeling projects. The company has closed two stores year to date.

Three Retail Stocks to Bet On

We have highlighted three top-ranked stocks, namely Urban Outfitters URBN, American Eagle Outfitters AEO and Stitch Fix SFIX.

Urban Outfitters, a leading apparel and accessories retailer, currently sports a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank stocks here.

The Zacks Consensus Estimate for Urban Outfitters’ current financial-year sales and earnings per share (EPS) suggests growth of 4.3% and 41.7%, respectively, from the year-ago reported figures. URBN delivered a negative earnings surprise of 7.1% in the trailing four quarters.

American Eagle Outfitters, a retailer of casual apparel, accessories and footwear, currently carries a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy). AEO delivered an earnings surprise of 23.3% in the last reported quarter.

The Zacks Consensus Estimate for American Eagle Outfitters’ current financial-year sales and EPS suggests growth of 1.3% and 15.5%, respectively, from the year-ago reported figures.

Stitch Fix, an online personal styling retailer, currently carries a Zacks Rank of 2. The company has a trailing four-quarter negative earnings surprise of 10.6%, on average.

The Zacks Consensus Estimate for Stitch Fix’s current financial-year EPS suggests growth of 1.2% from the year-ago reported figure.

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The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

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