CHARLOTTE, N.C.-In what Chairman and CEO Tim Belk described as “another year of progress for our company,” Belk Inc. brought in a 2.9 percent rise in fiscal-year net income, to $188.4 million.
The company was able to firm its bottom line on the back of a 7 percent increase in net sales, to $4 billion, for the year ending on Feb. 2. This included a gain in same-store sales of 6.3 percent. Home was one of Belk’s best-performing categories last year, along with women’s accessories, men’s and children’s.
Belk credited the retailer’s online sales jump of 87 percent. “E-commerce is the fastest-growing part of our business…while driving additional traffic to our stores,” he said.
Gross margin slipped eight basis points to 33.4 percent. Selling, general and administrative expenses rose 5 percent in dollars but dropped 37 basis points as a percentage of sales, to 24.9 percent.
The new fiscal year marks Belk’s 125th anniversary, which the chairman and CEO said would bring a greater commitment to investing in the company. “We…invested in 30 of our stores last year with full and departmental remodels, and plan to touch another 45 stores in the year ahead,” he said.