Shoe Carnival, Inc. reported sales for the four-week period ended February 1, 2003 decreased 1 percent to $28.4 million from sales of $28.8 million for the four-week period ended February 2, 2002. Comparable store sales decreased 10.4 percent in January 2003 versus a 12.9 percent increase in comparable store sales in January 2002.
Mark L. Lemond, president and chief executive officer, commented, “Unusually warm weather in the latter half of January 2002 led to a tremendous surge in sales of athletic footwear. This resulted in a comparable store sales increase of 12.9 percent in January 2002, one of the highest monthly comparable store sales increases in the Company’s history. In January 2003, we saw the opposite weather pattern – cold temperatures, snow and ice in the Midwest, South and Southeast regions. Consequently, sales of athletic product and spring season footwear were significantly below last year levels. Additionally, due to cleaner boot and winter footwear inventories, we did not have as much clearance product to drive top-line sales.
“However, due primarily to this improved inventory position, our gross profit margins for January and the fourth quarter increased significantly over those of the prior year. This gross margin enhancement, along with tight expense controls, should allow us to meet analysts expectations and our previously announced earnings guidance of between $.12 and $.14 per share for the fourth quarter and between $1.21 and $1.23 for the full year of fiscal 2002. Given that level of earnings, we thus should end fiscal 2002 with increases in earnings per share of at least 33 percent for the fourth quarter and 20 percent for the full fiscal year. We are extremely pleased with those accomplishments, especially given the weak state of the retail economy in the apparel and footwear industries.”
The Company intends to report its results for fourth quarter and full year of 2002 on March 13, 2003.
Sales for the 13-week fourth quarter increased to $128.0 million from sales of $120.6 million for the 13-week quarter ended February 2, 2002. Comparable store sales decreased 3.9 percent for the thirteen-week period.
Sales for the 52-week 2002 fiscal year increased 9 percent to $519.7 million from sales of $476.6 million for the 2001 fiscal year ended February 2, 2002. Comparable store sales decreased 0.4 percent for the 52-week period.
The Company also announced the opening today of a new store in Jupiter, FL, its 208th store.