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Shoe Carnival ready to join $1 billion club


The pace of expansion slowed at Shoe Carnival in 2015 but the company produced respectable growth against a challenging prior year comparison that has it poised to achieve a major milestone in 2016.

Same-store sales at the operator of 405 shoe store increased a modest 1.8% during the period ended Jan. 30, but that gain came on top of a prior year increase of 9.5%. Total sales increased 2.7% to $233.7 million and benefitted from the addition of new stores. Shoe Carnival opened 20 new stores and closed 15 stores last year, compared to opening 31 stores and closing seven stores during the prior year.

“We had a strong finish to fiscal 2015. The initiatives we have implemented over the past three years, including our multi-channel sales strategy, has led to the enrollment of nearly nine million Shoe Perks members and helped drive our record annual sales and diluted earnings per share,” said Cliff Sifford, Shoe Carnival’s president and CEO. “We are particularly pleased with the strength of our athletic footwear and trend-right boot selection, which helped us comp positive for the sixth consecutive quarter, even as we cycled a high single-digit comparable store sales result in the fourth quarter of last year. Looking ahead, we believe our inventory position and assortment of fresh spring product in the key categories have us well-positioned for the spring selling season.”

Profits during the fourth quarter were $4.2 million, or 21 cents a share, compared to $3 million, or 15 cents a share, the prior year.

Full year sales increased 4.7% to $984 million, same-store sales increased 3% and profits grew 12.7% to $28.8 million, or $1.45 a share.

Shoe Carnival envisions its 2016 sales growing in the low to mid-single digit range which could see it nose past the $1 billion mark. Earnings per share are expected to grow between 9% and 14% to a range of $1.58 to $1.65.

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