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Buckle November Comps Dip

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The Buckle, Inc. (BKE - Free Report) reported sales data for the month of November (4 weeks ended Nov 30, 2013). The retailer of casual apparel, footwear and accessories for men and women witnessed a 0.6% fall in comps as compared with the year-over-year figure (for the 4-week period ended Dec 1, 2012). Net sales increased 4.6% to $101.2 million from $96.7 million in the prior-year period (ended Nov 24, 2012).

For the 43-week period, Buckle witnessed a 1.1% rise in comps, while net sales increased 3.5% to $890.2 million from $860.1 million in the year-ago period.  

Despite retailers’ increased investment in promotions and lucrative discounts, traffic did not increase considerably. As a result, companies like L Brands, Inc. (LB - Free Report) and Costco Wholesale Corp. (COST - Free Report) reported results that were below analysts’ expectations. Limited Brands posted negative comps of 5% while Costco reported positive comps of merely 2%.

However, it appears that J. C. Penney Company, Inc. (JCP - Free Report) , which was in troubled waters, is making a turnaround. This was evident from its comparable-store sales results for November that surged 10.1% amid the reduced consumer spending.

Buckle witnessed an increase of 8.5% year over year in total sales in the men's category, contributing roughly 43.0% to Nov 2013 sales. The rise reflected strong sales of denim, casual bottoms, sweater and outerwear.

Women's category, which accounts for 57.0% of total sales for Nov 2013, marked an increase of 1.5% when compared with Nov 2012. The rise was driven by strong sales of casual bottoms, sweaters, outerwear footwear and accessories.

On a combined basis, accessory sales rose 16% while footwear sales rose about 22.5% in the reported month. Notably, these two categories are estimated to be nearly 8.5% and 6.0%, respectively, of November's net sales.

Kearney, Nebraska-based Buckle, which currently carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold), operates 452 retail stores across 43 states.

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