NASHVILLE, Tenn.-Strong sales both in stores and online helped Kirkland’s grow its first-quarter net income by 15.9 percent to $2.1 million.
Net sales totaled $108.3 million, up 6.9 percent and including a 5 percent gain in same-store sales in the quarter, which ended on May 3. The comparable-store number included e-commerce sales. Robert Alderson, Kirkland’s president and CEO, noted that the specialty retailer overcame a sluggish start, caused in part by the difficult weather in some of its markets, to finish the quarter with stronger momentum.
Gross margin gained 42 basis points to 39.4 percent. Operating expenses increased 6.6 percent in dollars but were down 10 basis points as a percentage of sales, to 32.3 percent.
“The year thus far is proceeding according to our plan,” Alderson said, “and we continue to expect benefits for the balance of the year from our investments in store growth, merchandise systems, e-commerce and branding initiatives.”