Economy Weighs on Collective in Q2

Consumers continued to shop sparingly in the second quarter, as business at Collective Brands Inc. bore the weight of a soft economic environment.

The Topeka, Kan.-based parent of Payless ShoeSource and Stride Rite Corp. reported a profit of $18.7 million, or 29 cents a diluted share, compared with $8.1 million, or 13 cents, in the year-ago period. However, without the impact of foreign currency exchange rates and the expiration of the Tommy Hilfiger adult footwear license in the second quarter of last year, the company’s net income would have been $32 million, or 50 cents a share, in the second quarter of 2008.

Collective’s sales dipped 8 percent to $836.3 million from $911.7 million in the same period last year. Same-store sales dropped 7.3 percent in total, which included declines of 6 percent at Payless and 2.7 percent at Stride Rite.

Analysts polled by Yahoo Finance had expected the company’s earnings per share to come in at 33 cents on $842.7 million in sales.

During the second quarter, Collective opened 20 retail stores, but closed 33 locations and relocated five. The company expects to end the year with 60 fewer stores in total.

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