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A Tale of Two Customers for Shoe Carnival


Family shoe chain Shoe Carnival, which has now reached 400 doors for the first time since 2018, is gaining traction with higher-income households but seeing its urban, under $30K household income customers struggle and subsequently purchase fewer pairs of footwear. That trend combined with ongoing inflationary and economic headwinds has Shoe Carnival remaining cautious about the remainder of the fiscal year.

The annual sales outlook has been lowered to $1.19-$1.21 billion with an anticipated comparable store sales decline of 6-8 percent. While the yearly gross margin is still expected to come in between 36 and 37 percent, new store growth is now pegged at 6 to 10.

Shoe Carnival says its e-commerce business coupled with its Customer Relationship Management (CRM) system have helped it to attract more affluent customers and offset some of the traffic softness with its urban clientele. The retailer, which remain intent on reaching 500 total doors by 2028, intends to have two-thirds of its current stores remodeled by next summer.

In Q2, comp sales fell by 6.5 percent, an improvement from Q1’s low double-digit decline. Women’s non-athletic sales slipped low teens and dress was down by 25 percent. Children’s comp sales rose by low-single digits, led by athletic. Adult athletic sales declined by low single digits with men’s off slightly more than women’s.