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Buckle August Sales Rise

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The Buckle, Inc. (BKE - Free Report) came up with better-than-expected sales for the month of August. Buckle, the retailer of casual apparels, footwear and accessories for men and women, witnessed a 1% rise in comps when compared with Aug 2012 results.

Net sales increased 0.3% to $101.1 million from $100.8 million in the prior-year period. For the 30-week period ended Aug 31, 2013, Buckle witnessed a 2% rise in comps, while net sales increased 4% to $603.3 million from $580 million in the year-ago period.  

On the whole, retailers came up with mixed sales results for August. The month got off to a slow start and the shift in consumers’ shopping preferences toward big-ticket items hurt sales of apparel, shoes and accessories. However, sales picked up later as retailers spent more on promotions and came up with lucrative discounts to drive traffic. However, heavy discounts raise concerns about margins.

Apparel retailer, Stein Mart Inc , impressed analysts by posting a 3.8% rise in comps, while The Gap, Inc. (GPS - Free Report) , witnessed a 2% increase in comps. However, The Cato Corporation reported a decline of 2% in comps for the month of August.

Coming back to Buckle, it witnessed an increase of 3% in total sales in the men's category, which comprised roughly 39.5% of Aug 2013 sales. The rise reflected strong sales of denim, accessories, knit shirts and shorts. 

Women's category, which represents 60.5% of total sales for Aug 2013, marked a decrease of 2.5% when compared with Aug 2012. Despite sales decline, the category witnessed increased sales in footwear, accessories, woven tops, shorts, outerwear, skirts and dresses.

On a combined basis, accessory sales remained flat, while footwear sales rose about 1.5% during the period under review.

The company closed one store during the month and now operates through 451 retail stores across 43 states. Headquartered in Kearney, Neb., shares of Buckle currently carry a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold).

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