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DSW marches onward with omnichannel sales growth


Footwear and accessories retailer DSW Inc., successfully navigated the west coast port challenges that plagued other retailers first quarter performance to deliver strong results while furthering an endless aisle agenda.

The company said its sales for the period ended May 2, increased 9.4% to $655 million and same store sales accelerated to 5.1% when compared to a 3.7% increase during the first quarter the prior year. Net income increased 22.6% to $47.4 million while earnings per share increased 26.2% to 53 cents.

''Our first quarter performance was a solid start to the spring season. Athletic footwear provided the strongest sales increase, but all major categories posted solid growth,” said DSW President and CEO Mike MacDonald. “Healthy regular priced sales and lower clearance inventory than last year drove a significant improvement in our gross profit rate. The West Coast port congestion delayed some receipts, but we released pre-buy merchandise to mitigate the impact on sales."

The solid start to the year was enough for the company to reiterate its full year profit forecast calling for total revenue growth of 7% to 8% driven by a low to mid-single digit same store sales increase and the opening of 35 to 40 new stores on a base of 450 locations.

Full year earnings per share are expected to range from $1.80 to $1.90. A key driver of the company’s future expectations is an ambitious omnichannel effort that gives shoppers in its stores access to an expanded virtual offering.

"We are making significant strides in expanding our customer's access to the full breadth of our assortment throughout the chain,” said MacDonald. “Following the successful roll out of our ship-from-store program last year, we are piloting new technology to provide in-store customers access to additional styles, colors and sizes. These tools, coupled with enhanced customer engagement, will deliver an endless aisle experience that will separate DSW from the competition.”

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