Belk Posts $4.2 Million Net Loss in Third Quarter
CHARLOTTE, N.C.--Department-store retailer Belk reported a net loss of $4.2 million in its fiscal third quarter ending on Oct. 30, as opposed to net income of $400,000 for the third quarter of last year.
In a statement on the results, Tim Belk, chairman and chief executive officer, attributed the red bottom line to increased costs from the company's investments in branding, information-technology infrastructure and merchandising. The increased expenses totaled $11 million, of which $10 million reflected costs for the rebranding and other corporate initiatives.
Belk debuted its rebranding and corporate-marketing initiative in October, which included a new logo and tag line, "Modern. Southern. Style." The campaign includes an advertising effort involving television and print advertising, circulars, direct mail and social media throughout its market areas--all highlighting Belk's new graphic elements and brand messages.
Net sales for the quarter totaled $746.6 million, up 2.6 percent from last year's third quarter and including a 2.5 percent increase in same-store sales. Gross margin fell 88 basis points to 30.9 percent. Selling, general and administrative expenses rose 5.2 percent on a dollar basis and gained 77 basis points as a percentage of sales, to 30.4 percent.