FINANCE

Profit almost doubles at Stein Mart in Q2, will open 21 stores

BY Dan Berthiaume

Jacksonville, Fla. —Profit almost doubled at Stein Mart Inc. during the second quarter of fiscal 2015. Stein Mart reported net income of $4.1 million, up 58% from $1.7 million the prior year quarter.

A slow pace of growth in cost of merchandise sold and essentially flat selling, general and administrative (SG&A) expenses helped drive strong profit growth. Net sales rose 4% to $311.58 million from $298.16 million.

Stein Mart plans to open nine new stores in the third quarter, as well as six new stores in spring 2016 and at least six new stores in fall 2016.

"We are very pleased with our strong second quarter earnings which were driven by leveraging our increased sales along with a higher gross profit rate," said Jay Stein, CEO. "We are looking forward to opening nine great stores this fall starting next month, including our first Long Island store in Commack."

Stein Mart expects same-store sales to increase 2.5% during the full fiscal year 2015 and almost 3% during the second half of the fiscal year.

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FINANCE

Buckle beats Street with falling Q2 profit

BY Dan Berthiaume

Kearney, Neb. —The Buckle Inc. beat Wall Street expectations for profit in the second quarter of fiscal 2015. The retailer achieved this feat even as net income slipped 4% to $23.5 million from $24.1 million.

Growth in cost of sales and selling expenses cut The Buckle’s profit. Net sales increased 0.1% to $236.1 million from $235.7 million. Same-store sales decreased 1.7%. In one bright note, online sales increased 17% to $20.1 million from $17.1 million.

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Michaels crafts a new partnership with startup

BY CSA STAFF

Michaels is targeting online DIYers via a new strategic arrangement with a San Francisco startup.

The world's largest arts and crafts retailer has partnered with trend-driven online DIY marketplace Darby Smart to make crafting simpler and more accessible to everyone.

"Aligning with Darby Smart is another way to connect with novice crafters and make it easy for them to engage in creating projects, with simple step-by-step instructions that help them achieve great results," said Michaels CEO Chuck Rubin. "Michaels and Darby Smart share a deep commitment to the maker movement, and this partnership helps us bring more people into the fold with accessible, modern, designer projects that anyone can make."

Darby Smart users will have access to more craft categories and a wider variety of supplies through the partnership, while Michaels customers will have access to the Darby Smart digital shopping lists, ideas and tutorials.

Initially, the partnership, which launches next month, will focus on projects for personalized fall, Thanksgiving and holiday decorating, entertaining and giving.

"I've been shopping at Michaels for many years, and there's no other playground like it for the creative," said Darby Smart co-founder and CEO Nicole Shariat Farb. "Our community will benefit from Michaels' unique product offerings that are broad in category, deep in selection and high in quality, and we welcome Michaels customers to our unique, online maker community."

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