The value-conscious footwear consumer continues to be challenged by the economy, which has caused profits at Shoe Carnival, Inc. to drop by 15 percent in the first quarter.
The Evansville, Ind.-based retailer reported a net income of $4.1 million, or 33 cents a diluted share, for the quarter ended May 3, versus $4.8 million, or 38 cents a share, in the year-ago period. Sales, led by a single-digit increase in athletic footwear, totaled $167.3 million, a three percent increase from last year’s first quarter. Same-store sales decreased by 0.3 percent.
Still, Shoe Carnival beat expectations of analysts, who had expected earnings per share of 25 cents and revenues of $164.4 million.
Margins came in below expected levels, as clearance pricing of adult dress and casual product during February and March contributed to a 1.3 percent decrease in gross profit margin for the quarter.
Mark Lemond, Shoe Carnival’s president and CEO, said in a statement, “We recognize that our targeted moderate income customer will continue to be impacted by the economic downturn, and sales within the retail sector may continue to experience downward pressure. Therefore, we will continue to manage our business conservatively, maintaining tight control over both our inventories and our cost structure.”