Shares of The Buckle, Inc. BKE have gained 8.5% since the company released soft sales numbers for April on Mar 7. The upside might have probably been driven by robust online sales, which rose 31.5% from the year-ago period to $32.1 million for the 13 weeks ended May 2, 2020. Further, management announced the reopening of some of the company’s stores during the week of Apr 26 on state and local guidelines. As of May 2, Buckle reopened about 37 outlets, with 100 more stores reopening in the week of May 3. Meanwhile, the company’s online store has continued to remain open throughout.
However, Buckle’s total net sales for the four-week fiscal month ended May 2, 2020, plunged 80.8% to $11.4 million from net sales of $59.6 million reported in the four-week fiscal month ended May 4, 2019. The decline in sales for April is wider than the decrease of 50.2% in the previous month, while the metric improved 6% and 3.2% in February and January, respectively.
Further, net sales for the 13-week fiscal quarter ended May 2 plunged 42.7% to $115.4 million compared with net sales of $201.3 million recorded in the 13-week fiscal quarter ended May 4, 2019. Buckle has been facing the brunt of dismal top-line performance, which mainly stemmed from the ill effects of the COVID-19 outbreak that forced retailers to shut stores and witness consequent loss in sales.
As earlier informed, this Zacks Rank #4 (Sell) company has extended store closures for an indefinite period effective Mar 18, 2020, due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Consequently, management decided to report total net sales only every month. However, it will not issue any separate data on comparable store sales now and has been evaluating to start reporting regular monthly sales on normal business operations. In the wake of the coronavirus pandemic, Buckle has also taken measures like furloughing of associates and reducing executives’ pay.
Unfortunately, the ill impacts of the COVID-19 outbreak have weighed on Buckle’s performance, causing the apparel retailer’s shares to plunge as much as 43% in the past three months. Meanwhile, its industry has declined 41.3%.
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