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Steve Madden Scores Sales Gains Despite Soft Retail Performance

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Fashion footwear specialist Steve Madden Inc. posted strong sales gains for the fourth quarter and full year 2017, and said earnings per share would be in the high end of guidance.

In a Nutshell: The company, which makes and markets fashion footwear and accessories for women, men and children under brands that include Steve Madden, Dolce Vita, Betsey Johnson and Brian Atwood, said it was pleased with its fourth quarter sales results, with earnings per share expected to be at the high end of guidance. The company had previously said it expects diluted earnings per share for fiscal 2017 will be in the range of $2.03 to $2.09. Solid performance in its wholesale business was offset by expected softness in its retail segment, driven by weakness in the boot category.

Sales: For the fourth quarter ended Dec. 31, Steve Madden Inc. reported net sales were up 8.3% to $364.4 million compared to the same period of 2016. Net sales for the wholesale division increased 10.6% to $278.2 million, or 2.5% to $257.9 million excluding results from Schwartz & Benjamin, which was acquired during the year. Retail net sales increased 1.5% to $86.2 million, while retail comparable store sales for the fourth quarter fell 5.1%.

For the year, net sales increased 10.5% to $1.5 billion compared to fiscal year 2016. Wholesale net sales increased 12.1% to $1.3 billion, or 5 percent to $1.2 billion excluding results from Schwartz & Benjamin. Retail net sales increased 3.6% to $272.2 million. Retail comparable store sales for fiscal year 2017 decreased 3.2%.

CEO’s Take: Edward Rosenfeld, chairman and chief executive officer, said, “Overall, 2017 was a strong year for Steve Madden. We delivered robust sales and earnings growth driven by the outstanding performance of our flagship Steve Madden brand in the wholesale channel. We also took a number of steps to position the company for future growth, including the acquisition of Schwartz & Benjamin and the formation of new joint ventures in China and Taiwan. As we look ahead, we are confident that our strong brands and increasingly diversified business model position us to continue to drive top- and bottom-line gains for years to come.”

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