Altra, Wolverine World Wide, Mizuno, Crocs, Shoe Carnival + More
• Altra has hired Todd Dalhausser as brand president, effective immediately. Dalhausser joins the VF Corp.-owned Altra from Wolverine World Wide, where he served as SVP of sales for Saucony North America. Previously, he managed Saucony/Hind’s apparel business, where he oversaw design, development and product merchandising. He has also held similar positions for both Vans and Reebok.
• Payless recently opened its first ever holiday pop-up location in New York City. The temporary store concept, located at 136 W 42nd Avenue, between Times Square and Bryant Park, is offering deals on its entire selection of shoes, handbags, and accessories throughout the holiday season. In addition to the New York location, the company opened eight additional pop-up stores across the country. The temporary locations, many of which are housed in large, open industrial spaces, have a more modern look and feel than traditional Payless brick-and-mortar stores.
• Wolverine World Wide is anticipating “low teens” growth for its Merrell business in the fourth quarter and a “high-single digit” topline increase in FY18. During Q3, WWW’s largest brand, plagued by sluggish retail conditions in international markets and lean inventories as a result of 19 percent sales expansion in Q2, produced a sales gain in the low-single digits.
CEO Blake Krueger says accelerated product introductions, increased marketing and Direct-To-Consumer will help Merrell reach its topline target in the final period of FY18. Overall Q3 revenues in the U.S. rose mid-single digits in Q3 and were impacted by a number of factors, including lower closeout inventory, lean in-stock availability and late product deliveries for some brands.
Elsewhere at Wolverine World Wide in Q3, Keds sales rose mid-teens in Q3, helped by nearly 40 percent growth in ecommerce.; Chaco sales were down low-single digits, but the brand experienced a 35 percent increase in ecommerce sales. And Saucony is projected to show improving year-over-year revenue trends in Q4 after a high-single digit drop in Q3 with particular challenges in the U.S. offsetting growth in the EMEA and a 25 percent uptick in ecommerce.
• Mizuno reported its first H1 profit in the Americas since FY14, but the six-month period represented the Japanese company’s third consecutive year of lower first half revenues in the region. Americas’ revenues fell 21 percent in Yen to the equivalent of $81.75 million. Footwear was off 23 percent to $29.9 million; apparel was down 6 percent to $14.1 million and equipment sales were down 23 percent year-over-year to the equivalent of $37.8 million. H1 profit at parent Mizuno Corp. was down 3.8 percent to $21.1 million on a 5 percent decline in total revenues to $763.9 million.
• Crocs generated a 17.9 percent in DTC comps in Q3 as ecommerce sales rose 23 percent and retail comparable store sales increased 15 percent. Wholesale revenues increased 9.3 percent as the company reported total revenues of $261.1 million and a 250-basis point increase in gross margin to 53.3 percent. FY18 revenue outlook is calling for 4-5 percent topline improvement over $1,023.5 million.
• Shoe Carnival realized a comp sales increase in “the 20s” in Q3 for boots as customers responded favorably to the chain’s assortment and marketing. “Weather does become a factor of both positivity as it creates need for weatherproof boots and negatively, if a winter storm occurs during a high-volume time period,” CEO Cliff Sifford told analysts. He declined to detail what specific types and brands of boots sold best during the period, only offering they were casual in nature and contributed to a merchandise margin gain as they were not markdown products. With the result, SCVL expects to have less seasonal inventory, including boots, on hand when January ends.
• Walmart boosted its outlook when reporting Q3 results that included a 3.4 percent comparable store sales gain and 1.2 percent traffic increase. In the U.S., total revenues surpassed $80.5 billion. FY19 comps are forecast to grow at least 3 percent.
• JC Penney is forecasting a low-single digit drop in FY comparable store sales after Q3 comps declined 5.4 percent for the period ended Nov. 3 on heavy discounting. • Décathlon is opening a 38,000-sq.ft. store over two floors in Montreal’s Eaton Centre in Fall 2019. The French sporting goods retailer currently operates more than 1,430 stores in 42 countries with annual sales of approximately $12.9 billion.