Q2 Results From Shoe Carnival, Famous Footwear, DSW and Journeys Signal Industrywide Recovery

In the last two weeks, a handful of major footwear retailers have posted strong results for Q2.

Genesco, Caleres, Shoe Carnival and DSW parent Designer Brands reported strong sales, highlighting a general industrywide trend toward recovery from the pandemic. In many cases, this quarter reflected record-breaking numbers for retail across the board.

Amid the positive results, these footwear companies have been faced with supply chain issues related to factory slowdowns and shutdowns and port congestion. Still, they have managed to pull through successfully by leveraging relationships with suppliers and brands.

For some companies, this quarter even yielded record-breaking results.

Famous Footwear drove Caleres’ explosive growth this quarter. The retail chain saw its highest level of Q2 sales in its history, at about $454 million. This represented an 8% jump from Q2 of 2019. This quarter’s earnings for Famous Footwear exceeded earnings for the entire year of 2019, with a more than 80% increase in revenue.

“Famous is strong, agile and exceptionally well positioned to take advantage of this dynamic market environment,” said Caleres chairman and CEO Diane Sullivan in a call with investors.

Across Designer Brands, the company saw record gross profit, with DSW setting an all-time sales and gross profit record for the quarter. Shoe Carnival also posted record sales and earnings per share.

At Genesco, sales in Q2 increased 42% year-over-year to $555 million. The company’s Journeys brand delivered record revenue and operating profit in Q2 in its third consecutive quarter of record profitability.

These companies have also benefitted from a surge in demand for athletic apparel and footwear, as more people take on running and exercise.

Journeys was one of the retailers to benefit from this change in consumer demand, as the chain had already carried a wide assortment of athletic footwear prior to the pandemic.

“The current fashion cycle, which has been shifting more to casual product, plays into Journeys’ wheelhouse with strength in the assortment across the board,” said Genesco board chair, president and CEO Mimi Vaughn.

At Shoe Carnival, athletic footwear sales were slightly down for August (the category usually makes up about 70% of sales). However, the retailer’s senior EVP and chief merchandising officer Carl Scibetta said in a call with investors last week that the dip in athletic footwear does not signify a slowing down in the category. Rather, it was a sign of acceleration in other footwear categories.

Meanwhile, DSW has also seen strong results thanks to its pivot to more athletic offerings in recent years. Athletic comparable store sales were up 45% compared with Q2 2019.

“We are killing it in athletic,” said Designer Brands CEO and director Roger Rawlins. “And I’m just really excited about this.”

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