Caleres Q1 net sales down 2.9 percent

Net sales of 584.7 million dollars were down 2.9 percent driven by a planned reduction in brand portfolio sales at Caleres in the first quarter. Gross margin was up 111 basis points to 42.4 percent, benefitting from the exit of some lower margin categories. The company reported diluted EPS of 0.41 dollar.

“Despite softness in the overall market, we delivered solid sales at Famous Footwear and improved gross margin at Brand Portfolio,” said Diane Sullivan, CEO, president and chairman of Caleres, adding, “Quarter-to-date, we delivered a 27 percent improvement in cash and equivalents, while maintaining our inventory productivity.”

Brand segment results in the first quarter

Famous Footwear same-store-sales went up 1 percent, driven by strength in lifestyle athletic products. Gross margin was down 46 basis points to 46.3 percent, reflecting increased sales at The company opened 10 new stores and operated three more stores year-over-year of Famous Footwear.

Brand portfolio sales were down 9.1 percent, reflecting a planned reduction in Healthy Living sales. Gross margin was up 279 basis points to 35.9 percent, benefitting from the exit of some lower margin categories. The company opened four Sam Edelman retail stores and invested in the development of the Diane von Furstenberg and George Brown brands during the quarter.

For the fiscal year 2016, the company expects to report consolidated net sales between 2.60 billion dollars to 2.63 billion dollars, Famous Footwear same-store sales to rise low-single digits, Brand Portfolio sales to be flat to down low-single digits and earnings per diluted share of 2 dollars to 2.10 dollars.