CHARLOTTE, N.C.-Second-quarter net income for Belk rose 9.6 percent to $27.4 million, on the back of a sales increase fueled in part by the performance of the home department.
Net sales rose 4.3 percent to $867.9 million, including a same-store sales gain of 4.9 percent. A Belk statement cited home as one of the areas with the highest sales growth rate, along with men’s and kids. Tim Belk, Belk’s chairman and CEO, noted that the company achieved its 10th consecutive quarter of comparable-store sales growth.
“The results are aided by investments in the business,” Belk said, “including branding, store remodels, technology and a program on service excellence, each of which is significant. He added that Belk’s e-commerce segment “continues to grow rapidly,” and that the company marked the opening of an additional 500,000 square-foot fulfillment center to accommodate this business.
The company said it began a five-year program of investments of a total of about $600 million in the business last year. The funds are going toward store remodels, service improvements, e-commerce, information technology, merchandise planning and processes, marketing and branding, and improved sourcing practices.
Gross margin edged up two basis points to 33.3 percent. Selling, general and administrative expenses increased 3 percent in dollars but declined 36 basis points as a percentage of sales, to 27.1 percent.