NASHVILLE, Tenn.-In spite of sales increases for both the fourth quarter and the fiscal year, Kirkland’s net income fell 6.1 percent in the quarter, to $14.3 million, and 27.8 percent for the year, to $13.8 million.
The retailer’s president and CEO, Robert Alderson, has also said he intends to retire at the end of this fiscal year, which will be near the beginning of February 2014—thus ending a 27-year career with Kirkland’s.
Net sales in the quarter, which ended Feb. 2, jumped 9.2 percent to $162.9 million, including a 2.6 percent shortfall in same-store sales. For the fiscal year, net sales totaled $448.4 million, up 4.3 percent and including a same-store sales decrease of 3 percent.
Crimping the bottom line, gross margin in the quarter fell 241 basis points to 40.6 percent. Operating expenses, while dropping 42 basis points as a percentage of sales, rose 7.4 percent in total dollars.
Looking ahead, Kirkland’s said it expects a 5 to 7 percent gain in net sales for the current fiscal year, along with “a nominal decrease to a nominal increase” in same-store sales.
Regarding his retirement, Alderson said, “Over the course of the year, we will continue to work on substantially upgrading our merchandising talent and leadership. I have enjoyed the last 27 years at Kirkland’s, but now is the right time to begin recasting the leadership.”