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Buckle (BKE) Reports Robust March Sales Despite Coronavirus

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The Buckle, Inc. BKE has reported impressive sales numbers for March. Despite coronavirus blues, the company managed to deliver tenth straight monthly sales rise in the month. Impressively, Buckle’s net sales for the five-week fiscal month ended Apr 3, 2021 soared 240.2% to $139.4 million from $41 million recorded in the five-week fiscal month ended Apr 4, 2020. We note that the company registered sales increase of 5%, 33.6%, 17.7% and 8.1%, respectively, in the preceding four months.

In the wake of the coronavirus pandemic, sales in fiscal 2020 were badly marred by the closure of all the company’s brick and mortar stores, effective Mar 18, 2020. Accordingly, management plans to report total net sales per month versus the past two years. However, it has stated that it will not separately unveil comparable store sales for the months mostly impacted by store closures. The company expects resuming regular monthly reporting with August results.

Incidentally, net sales for the five-week fiscal month ended Apr 3, 2021 jumped 69.5% from $82.3 million for the five-week fiscal month ended Apr 6, 2019. Further, net sales for the nine-week fiscal period ended Apr 3, 2021 surged 97.7% to $205.5 million from $104 million reported in the nine-week fiscal period ended Apr 4, 2020. Also, the metric improved 45% versus $141.7 million generated in the nine-week fiscal period ended Apr 6, 2019.

We note that the company’s women’s and men’s merchandise categories are doing well. For the fiscal month under review, total sales at the men’s unit increased 72% versus the five-week period ended Apr 6, 2019 while the metric at the women’s business grew 67%. While the men’s category contributed 51% to the company’s overall monthly sales, the women’s unit accounted for nearly 49%.

On combining the men’s and women’s categories, accessory sales for the fiscal month climbed 75% and footwear sales climbed up 160.5% from the comparable March sales of fiscal 2019. Both accessory and footwear categories accounted for roughly 8.5% and 11.5%, respectively, of the overall sales. For the comparable period in fiscal 2019, sales were up 8% and 7.5%, respectively, for both these categories.

Markedly, the stellar sales performance has been driving the Zacks Rank #2 (Buy) stock. Also, Buckle has been witnessing strength in its online business amid the pandemic. During fourth-quarter fiscal 2020, online sales surged 81.5% year over year to $66.2 million. Apparently, shares of this apparel, footwear and accessories retailer have increased 25.6% over the past three months compared with the industry’s 14% rally. Buckle presently operates 442 retail outlets across 42 states versus 446 outlets as of Apr 8, 2020 and 450 stores as of Apr 8, 2019.

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