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Buckle's March Comps Decline

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The Buckle, Inc. (BKE - Free Report) , the retailer of casual apparel, footwear and accessories for men and women, yet again reported a 1.8% year-over-year fall in comparable-store sales (comps) for the five weeks ended Apr 5, 2014. However, net sales of $106.6 million remained almost unchanged from the prior-year period (ended Apr 6, 2013).

Notably, Buckle has also reported negative comps in the past 4 months. Comps declined 1.4% in Feb 2014, 6.6% in Jan 2014, 2.8% in Dec 2013 and 0.6% in Nov 2013.

Moreover, comps for the nine-week period ended Apr 5, 2014, fell 1.6% year over year. However, net sales inched up 0.1% to $196.1 million from the prior-year period (ended Apr 6, 2013).    

March has been challenging for the retailers. Apart from Buckle, sports-related teen apparel retailer, Zumiez Inc. , reported a 2.9% decline in comps for the five weeks ended Apr 5, 2014, compared with a comps increase of 2.1% for the five weeks ended Apr 6, 2013. L Brands, Inc. (LB - Free Report) reported a year-over-year decline of 1% in comps for March. Further, The Gap Inc. (GPS - Free Report) posted a 6% decline in comps for March against a decline of 1% in Mar 2013.

Total sales in both Men's and Women's categories remained flat year over year. Men's category contributed nearly 40% to Mar 2014 sales while Women's category accounted for 60% of total sales for the month.

On a combined basis, accessories sales increased 2% while footwear sales fell 4% in the reported month. Notably, these two categories are estimated to have constituted nearly 7% and 6.5%, respectively, of March's net sales.

As of Apr 10, 2014, Kearney, NE-based Buckle operates 450 retail stores across 43 states.

Currently, Buckle carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold).

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