Rocky Brands Should Benefit From Core Styles, Own Manufacturing
While senior executives at Nelsonville, OH-based Rocky Brands admit it’s difficult to forecast what the final three quarters will be like for the company and its stable of footwear brands, Rocky’s own manufacturing plants in the Dominican Republic and Puerto Rico enable the company to deliver products on shorter lead times. Additionally, the Rocky, Lehigh and Georgia Boot parent says 70 percent of its current products are core styles that provides it with an additional advantage.
The Lehigh brand is Rocky’s largest brand in the retail segment, which grew more than 9 percent to $16.4 million in the first quarter ended March 31. The company is hopeful that pent-up demand, caused by COVID-19-related store closures, will materialize once the national retail landscape normalizes given fittings that are being scheduled currently.
“I think we’re trying to figure out how [COVID-19] is going to change our consumers moving forward,” EVP and CFO Thomas Robertson told analysts last week. “And so the more consumers we get going to our e-commerce websites, the better. …Also with our Lehigh business, it is particularly set up to have a hands-off or no-contact safety shoe solution. We’re excited about what we’re seeing from an account growth standpoint at Lehigh.”
Total first quarter revenues declined more than 15 percent to $55.7 million at Rocky Brands, partly due to planned reductions in military sales and some softness in the wholesale segment, where price increases took effect on Jan. 1.