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DSW, Journeys Deliver Tough Q3 Results


The third quarter, with its unseasonable weather and soft consumer demand for footwear, was not kind to either Designer Brands-owned DSW or Genesco-owned retail chain Journeys. DBI shares declined by 33 percent to $8.54 on Tuesday after it reported a 9 percent decline in Q3 revenues to $786.3 million and lowered its annual revenue guidance to “down high single digits,” excluding its Keds business. Similarly, GCO shares fell by 16 percent last week after it missed a revenue target by 4.1 percent and EPS objective by $0.27 a share.

Nonetheless, Genesco senior executives were pleased by some Q3 trends at Journeys as the teen fashion footwear retailer improved traffic and conversion from the prior period and had a positive comp for the first time in 2023 that emerged after Black Friday Weekend. The chain’s digital sales grew by 8 percent in Q3 to push its digital penetration up to 21 percent versus 18 percent in the year-ago period.

The company is moving ahead with its Elevate Plan that was designed to accelerate improvements at Journeys and grow revenues as its FY25 commences in early 2024. The retailer now has 1.5 million customers enrolled in its loyalty program and is said to be “working diligently” to add more differentiation to its product assortment but adds it’s an effort that will take some time to complete. Additionally, Journeys recently launched an online order pickup in store program and expanded its number of dropship vendor partners to 50 as it increased its website SKU count.

At DSW, seasonal footwear represented 40 percent of the chain’s Q3 sales versus 20 percent typically. The retailer, which lowered its year-over-year inventory level by 11.8 percent, is leaning into clearance initiatives to meet customer demand for value. But key growth initiatives for the retailer will focus on a re-invigorated assortment and enhancing in-store and digital shopping experiences for its customers. Nike, which was introduced in all DBI channels last month, has become one of the chain’s top-performing brands almost instantly. In Spring 2024, DSW will bring Under Armour back to its assortments, and it’s continuing to expand its brand relationships with both Birkenstock and Skechers.