Genesco chairman, president and CEO Robert J. Dennis said that the company’s overall fourth-quarter results were lower than expected, thanks to inconsistent sales patterns and severe winter storms that affected its key markets.
All is not grim, however, as the company is making investments to bolster its omnichannel capabilities, which Dennis expects will protect near-term profitability and allow the company to expand its retail footprint.
Net sales for the 13-week fourth quarter decreased 0.5% to $793 million from $797 million in the 14-week fourth quarter of fiscal 2013. Comparable sales in the quarter increased 1%, with a 4% increase in the Lids Sports Group, a flat comp in the Journeys Group, a 7% decrease in the Schuh Group and an 11% increase in the Johnston & Murphy Group.
For the full year, the company reported net sales of $2.62 billion, an increase of 0.8% from net sales of $2.60 billion in the 53-week period ended Feb. 2, 2013.
"Our fiscal 2014 performance reflects a challenging selling environment throughout the year, including the fourth quarter,” said Dennis. "The inconsistent sales patterns that characterized last year carried over into the start of fiscal 2015 with comparable sales down 2% through Saturday, March 8, 2014. Following a difficult first week that was marked by severe winter storms in several of our key markets, comparable sales turned positive and margins have held up. However, we remain cautious in our outlook for the first half of the fiscal year given the lack of a strong new fashion driver in the teen footwear space and continued uncertainty around customer traffic.”
Based on current sales trends, the company expects adjusted fiscal 2015 diluted earnings per share to be in the range of $5.40 to $5.55, which represents a 6% to 9% increase over fiscal 2014's adjusted earnings per share of $5.09. The company also anticipates comparable-store sales increases in the low single digit range for the full fiscal year.
The Nashville-based specialty retailer sells footwear, headwear, sports apparel and accessories in more than 2,550 retail stores and leased departments throughout the U.S., Canada, the United Kingdom and the Republic of Ireland, principally under the names Journeys, Journeys Kidz, Shi by Journeys, Underground by Journeys, Schuh, Lids, Locker Room by Lids, Lids Clubhouse, Johnston & Murphy, as well as corresponding e-commerce sites.