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Buckle Reports Healthy July Sales

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The Buckle, Inc. (BKE - Free Report) witnessed a 2.1% rise in comps when compared with Jul 2012 results. Net sales increased 16.7% to $77.2 million from $66.2 million in the prior-year period. For the second quarter ended Aug 3, 2013, Buckle witnessed a 3.2% rise in comps, while net sales increased 7.9% to $232.5 million from $215.5 million in the year-ago period.  

On the whole, July sales were soft for most retailers as weak traffic played spoilsport. Discount store operator, Fred's, Inc. , witnessed a 2.5% rise in comps, while the clothing chain, The Gap, Inc. (GPS - Free Report) , witnessed a 1% increase. However, specialty retailer, The Cato Corporation , witnessed a 5% decline in comps. 

Going forward, with high inventory levels for the key back-to-school season, retailers will have to spend more on promotions and come up with value pricing to make the most of the second-best shopping season after the winter holidays. However, discounts and hot deals could eat away margins.

Coming back to Buckle, it witnessed an increase of 14% in total sales in the men's category, which comprised roughly 41% of Jul 2013 sales. The rise reflected strong sales of denim, accessories, knit shirts and active apparel. 

Women's category, which represents 59% of total sales for Jul 2013, marked an increase of 17% when compared with Jul 2012. The category witnessed increased sales in footwear, woven tops, active apparel and dresses.

On a combined basis, accessory sales declined approximately 4%, while footwear sales rose about 5.5% during the period under review.

The company opened 8 new stores during the month and operates through 452 retail stores across 43 states. Headquartered in Kearney, Neb., shares of Buckle currently carry a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold).

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