Footwear and hard goods led the H1/19 business at Zumiez, while men’s and women’s apparel were softer. The global lifestyle retailer says its ultimate objective is to sell at full price and full margin while also listening to its customers about what product categories and brands it should carry. That largely means selling a mix of leading and emerging brands that are not broadly distributed. Private label, which was 20 percent of overall revenues once, stood at 13.5 percent of revenues at the end of 2018.
Second quarter sales rose 4.3 percent to $228.4 million as comparable sales increased 3.6 percent. North American net sales improved 2.9 percent to $206.9 million. Comp sales trends accelerated in August, rising 7.1 percent for the four weeks ended Aug. 31, driven by higher transactions and dollars per transaction. Zumiez is currently forecasting annual consolidate sales growth of 2-4 percent with a 10-20 basis point decline in product margins. The retailer’s exposure to China-made products, which may be impacted by the ongoing trade war, continues to drop. In 2017, about 60 percent of all products sold in Zumiez were made in China. That percentage was down to 41-42 percent in Q2.
In other retail news,
- Less than two years after spending upwards of $100 million to build an outdoor retail products strategy, publicly traded Camping World is shifting focus to its mainstay RV business. Last week, CWH said it would shift away from locations where it does not have the ability, or it is not feasible to sell and service recreational vehicles. The decision impacts 27 of 37 locations where the company currently sells an assortment of outdoor lifestyle products.
- Journeys, owned by Genesco, realized gains in Q2 sales and margins, in part due to strong full-price selling of seasonal footwear, including sandals, and continued sales gains by fashion athletic offerings. Retro and casual styles were the best sellers. Comp sales rose 4 percent in the period. Retailer believes the retro athletic trend “has a lot of legs” going forward and is encouraged by the growing revenue contribution from casual styles.
- NPD, in reporting athletic footwear trends for H1 of Back-To-School, warned about the category’s possible performance for the remainder of the important selling season and upcoming holiday period. The research firm, in a Sep. 3 report, cited the lack of a hot item or hot brand of scale coupled with an ongoing promotional environment as serious potential pitfalls for the category. For the seven weeks ended Aug. 24, sport lifestyle shoes grew in the mid-single digits with skate up mid-teens, but off its previous pace. Performance basketball and performance running shoe sales slipped in the high-single digits with the group’s Matt Powell suggesting that “brands focused on performance will find growth challenging.” By brand, Vans (up nearly 25 percent), Fila (up more than a third), Puma (up high singles), Nike (up low singles) and Brooks (up mid singles) paced the gainers. Adidas (down low singles), Skechers (down mid-singles), Under Armour (down mid-teens), Converse (down mid-teens) and Brand Jordan (down mid-singles) were among the decliners.