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Cato exceeds guidance in Q2; scales back store openings

BY Katherine Boccaccio

Charlotte, N.C. — The Cato Corporation reported that net income rose 6% to $15.7 million for the second quarter ended Aug. 2, from $14.8 million last year.

Sales increased 6% to $243.8 million, from $229.4 million last year. Same-store sales increased 3%.

"Second quarter same-store sales were in line with our year-to-date trend," said John Cato, CEO. "However, we continue to expect the second half earnings per diluted share will be within our original guidance range.”

During the first half, Cato opened 11 new stores, relocated one store and closed three stores. The retailer said it now expects to open 46 stores, down from the original plan of 65.

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Stein Mart profit slides in Q2

BY Katherine Boccaccio

Jacksonville, Fla. — Stein Mart Inc. reported net income of $1.7 million for the second quarter, reduced from $3.4 million last year on higher healthcare costs.

Total sales increased 2.5% to $298.2 million, while same-store sales increased 1.3%, the retailer’s ninth consecutive quarter of comparable store sales gains.

"Despite a challenging first half of the year with weather impacting sales, we have a number of important initiatives in place," said Jay Stein, CEO. "Key among these is our growth focus, as we open more new and relocated stores this fall and continue to build our ecommerce business. These and our other strategies play a very important role in our long-term business development."

The retailer said it expects to open six new stores, relocate four and close one during the second half of the year.

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Stein Mart focuses on growth strategy following Q2 results

BY CSA STAFF

Stein Mart CEO Jay Stein is focused on the company’s growth strategy, which includes plans to continue expanding the company’s e-commerce business, following second-quarter results.

Total sales for the quarter increased 2.5% to $298.2, while comparable store sales increased 1.3%. Gross profit for the quarter was $84.2 million, or 28.3% of sales.

"Despite a challenging first half of the year with weather impacting sales, we have a number of important initiatives in place," said Stein. "Key among these is our growth focus, as we open more new and relocated stores this fall and continue to build our e-commerce business. These and our other strategies play a very important role in our long-term business development."

The company’s results included higher healthcare costs, $2.1 million, and higher pre-opening costs related to new and relocated stores, $0.6 million, compared to last year's second quarter. The higher healthcare costs, according to the company, were due to “unusually unfavorable claims experience this year compared to favorable claims experience in last year's second quarter.”

Stein Mart operated 265 stores at the end of the quarter this year compared to 262 at the end of the second quarter last year. The company anticipates opening six new stores, relocating four and closing one during the second half of the year.

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