In the most recent second-quarter filings from US apparel and footwear brands and retailers, Tailored Brands showed improvement on Q1 but saw earnings slide, while DSW booked mixed results. Abercrombie & Fitch widened its net losses but remained optimistic, while Destination Maternity revealed improved losses. Express, meanwhile, delivered what it described as a "disappointing" second-quarter, below management expectations, and Macy's saw a "distinct" improvement in its sales and earnings trends for the quarter. 

The Finish Line

Athletic footwear and apparel retailer The Finish Line delivered second quarter results in line with its expectations, with net sales rising 5.4% year over year to $509.4m, and same-store sales up 5.1%. But net income in the 13 weeks to 27 August, slipped 14% to $22.1m from $25.9m. CEO Sam Sato says the company will now shift its focus to streamlining its organisational structure to optimise productivity while at the same time taking the necessary steps to position the company for long-term profitable growth.

Cherokee Global Brands 

Cherokee has offered an optimistic outlook, despite issuing mixed second-quarter results. GAAP net income totalled US$1.5m from $1.9m in the year ago period. On a non-GAAP basis, earnings totalled $1.9m from $2m. Revenues of $8.5m were flat with the prior-year period. Increased revenues for the Cherokee brand in South America, India, Middle East, South Africa, and Asia were offset by an expected decrease in North American royalty revenues as the company transitions the brand from Target to its new wholesale licensing partners. CEO Henry Stupp, said: "As we advance through fiscal 2017, we are pleased with our ability to further build our brand platform and diversify our global business."

Zumiez Inc

Zumiez said it continues to navigate through the current retail environment with a "balanced approach" to executing its strategic growth objectives and protecting near-term profitability in the face of "challenging" consumer demand. The company moved to a net losses in the quarter of $0.8m, compared to earnings of $3.2m in the prior year. The results for 2015 include costs of around $0.4m for charges associated with the acquisition of Blue Tomato. Total sales fell 0.9% to $178.3m, while comparable sales were down 4.9%. 

Vince Holding Corp.

Vince Holdings narrowed its net loss in the second quarter but saw sales tumble, largely in line with company expectations. Net losses amounted to US$2m from a loss of $5m in the prior year. Gross margin widened to 45.1% from 26%, but net sales fell 24.1% to $60.7m. CEO Brendan Hoffman, said: "Our second quarter results were largely in line with our expectations. As we transitioned our product to fall, we flowed fewer styles into the wholesale channel as well as our own retail stores, which contributed to the reduction in sales. Overall, we believe that we are on track to achieve our net sales and diluted EPS targets for fiscal 2016."

Tailored Brands, Inc. 

Tailored Brands says its second-quarter showed improvement on the prior quarter but reflected a  challenging retail apparel spending environment as well as the continued transitioning of its Jos. A. Bank business. As a results, earnings almost halved to US$25m from $47.8m a year ago. Gross margin narrowed 40 basis points to 45.1%, primarily due to the impact of clearance activity as the company exited its factory/outlet business. Total sales fell 1.1% to $10.4m, while retail sales dropped 3.4% to $28.7m. Comparable sales, however, grew 2.9% at Men's Wearhouse. The company maintained its outlook for full year adjusted EPS in the range of $1.55 to $1.85 per diluted share. 

DSW, Inc

US footwear retailer DSW Inc has booked mixed results in its second-quarter as earnings fell to US$25m from $37.6m a year earlier. Gross margin narrowed to 28.4% from 30.5% in the second quarter of fiscal 2015. Net sales, however, reached $658.9m compared to $627.2m in the year ago period, primarily driven by the DSW segment and incremental sales from the company's acquisition of Ebuy, a digital marketplace and accessories retailer, in March. 

Genesco, Inc 

Genesco booked a mixed second-quarter with earnings climbing and sales falling, reflecting the divestiture of the Lids Team Sports business. Earnings from continuing operations reached $14.5m compared to earnings of $7.6m in the year ago period. Results reflect a pre-tax gain of $10.4m, including an $8.9m gain as a result of a litigation settlement and a $2.5m gain on the sale of Lids Team Sports. Net sales dropped 4.6% to $626m, while comparable sales, including same store sales and comparable e-commerce and catalogue sales, decreased 1%.

J Crew, Inc

US fashion retailer J Crew says it is pleased with the steps the company is taking to improve its core business in a "challenging traffic environment". As a result of these measures, net losses narrowed to $8.6m from $13.6m a year earlier. Gross margin improved to 35.7% compared to 34.3% in the second quarter last year. Net sales, however, were down 4% to $569.8m, while comparable store sales dropped 8%. Millard Drexler, CEO, said: "Looking ahead, we are focused on driving sales productivity with exciting new merchandising and marketing initiatives that are expected to enhance customer loyalty and extend our brand reach. We have several key operational initiatives underway that we believe position us to optimise our global sourcing and supply chain and we will continue to review all aspects of our business to drive further efficiencies."

Oxford Industries, Inc

Oxford Industries exceeded management expectations in its second-quarter as operating income increased 11% to $38.7m. Gross profit reached $165.7m from $151.1m in the year ago period. Margins narrowed slightly to 58.6% compared to 60.3% last year. Net sales, meanwhile, were up 13% to $283m. CEO Thomas Chubb, said: "We are mindful the retail environment remains uncertain for many of our wholesale customers, who are taking a more cautious approach to re-orders and the upcoming holiday season. We are committed to closely managing discretionary costs and our inventory levels, while still investing wisely in infrastructure."

Shoe Carnival, Inc

Shoe Carnival has offered an optimistic outlook, despite booking a drop in second-quarter earnings. Net income fell to $4.1m from $4.8m in the year ago period. Gross margin narrowed to 29% compared to 29.1% in the second quarter of last year. Net sales climbed 1.8% to $231.9m, while comparable store sales edged up 0.5%, thanks to non-athletic footwear categories, particularly sandals, performing well in the quarter. CEO Cliff Sifford, said: "We remain focused on the execution of our multi-channel strategic initiatives to fuel future growth in sales and profitability."

Chico's FAS, Inc. 

Chico's is to cut around 200 jobs, or 13% of its workforce in a strategic move to create a "flatter" and more nimble organisation, as it revealed lower earnings and sales in its second-quarter. Adjusted net income, taking account of the sale of the firm's Boston Proper direct-to-consumer business, fell to $33.3m from $37.6m a year earlier. Gross margin narrowed to 37.9% from 38.6% in the prior year, while net sales were down 7.3% to $635.7m. Comparable sales declined 3.1%. Shelley Broader, CEO, said: "We expect that the more streamlined organisational structure combined with the other cost reduction and operating efficiency initiatives, will result in a strong, scalable foundation, that is well-positioned for long-term, profitable growth and value creation."

Caleres

Footwear retailer Caleres has maintained its full-year earnings guidance as it reported second-quarter results boosted by "good execution" in what it described as a challenging environment. Net income reached $19.7m from $16.8m a year earlier. Gross margin improved 47 basis points to 41.7%, driven by the group's Famous footwear and brand portfolio. Net, however, dropped 2.3% to $622.9m, due to a "challenging" retail environment.

G-III Apparel Group, Ltd

G-III Apparel has offered an optimistic outlook for the remainder of the year, despite booking lower sales and moving to a net loss in its second-quarter. Losses amounted to $1.3m from earnings of $12.5m in the year ago period. Results included professional fees of around $3m in connection with its pending acquisition of Donna Karan. Net sales fell 7% to $442.3m. As a result, the company lowered its fiscal 2017 full-year outlook to net sales of around $2.48bn, and net income between $102m and $106m. CEO Morris Goldfarb, said: "We believe forecast cool weather trends should be in our favour this fall and holiday season compared to last year and should provide the impetus for improved sales for Wilsons and Bass in the second half."

Abercrombie & Fitch Co.

Teen fashion retailer Abercrombie & Fitch has reported a second-quarter broadly in line with its expectations. Net losses amounted to US$13.1m from $0.8m a year earlier. Gross margin was down 140 basis points to 60.9%, primarily due to higher average unit costs, partially offset by higher average unit retails. Net sales fell 4% to $783.2m, with comparable sales also down 4%. Nonetheless, CEO Arthur Martinez said: "We were encouraged by strong growth in the direct-to-consumer business, both domestically and internationally, and by a comparable sales recovery in the Hollister European business, including in the UK." For fiscal 2016, the company is forecasting comparable sales to remain "challenging" through the second half, net income of around $5m, and a gross margin rate flat to last year's adjusted non-GAAP rate of 61.9%.

Destination Maternity Corporation

Destination Maternity offered an optimistic overview of its second-quarter results as it revealed an improvement in GAAP net losses of 6.5% to US$2.5m. The company incurred store closing, asset impairment and asset disposal expenses of $0.4m in the period. Adjusted net losses widened to $2m from $1.7m a year earlier. Net sales dropped to $106.5m from $119.3m in the comparable prior year quarter, primarily driven by the closure of Sears and Gordmans leased department locations, and reductions in Kohl's sales given the planned exit in 2017. Comparable sales were down 2.7%, while gross margin improved 510 basis points to 51.5%. 

Sears Holding Corp

US retail giant Sears has secured US$300m in debt financing from CEO Edward Lampert's ESL Investments as it moved to a loss in its second-quarter. The loan is secured by a junior lien against the company's inventory, receivables and other working capital. Lampert said: "We continue to face a challenging competitive environment and while we continue to focus on our overall profitability, including managing expenses, we reported a net loss for the second quarter." Losses amounted to $395m in the quarter, from a profit of $208m in the year ago period. Total sales dropped to $5.7bn from $6.2bn, primarily driven by a 5.2% decline in comparable store sales. Neil Saunders, CEO of Conlumino, noted: "If losing sales was like losing weight then there is little doubt that Sears would win the award for 'slimmer of the decade'. Indeed, having seen comparable sales decline for at least 10 years, the company is now significantly smaller than it once was."

Burlington Stores

Burlington Stores has booked higher sales and earnings in its second-quarter thanks to continued improvement in the execution of the company's off-price operating model. As a result, Burlington raised its full-year guidance and now expects adjusted EPS in the range of $2.92 to $2.96, and a net of 7.8% to 8.3%. Earnings in the quarter soared 87.1% to $20.4m, while gross margin improved 50 basis points to 39.6%. Net sales climbed 9.7% to $1.25bn. 

Destination XL Group, Inc

Destination XL has booked a positive set of results, despite uncertainty around consumer spending. The company made a profit of $0.2m from a loss of $1m in the prior year quarter. Total sales rose 3.3% to $117.9m from $114.1m, driven by a comparable sales increase of 2.4%. CEO David Levin, said: "Our positive second-quarter results reflect the fundamental strength of the DXL transformation, which drove growth in sales and profitability even as uncertainty weighed on consumer spending."

Tilly's, Inc

Tilly's saw earnings climb to US$1.4m from $0.6m a year earlier. Gross margin improved 40 basis points to 28.5% compared to 28.1% last year. This was thanks to a 70 basis point improvement in buying, distribution and occupancy costs, partially offset by a 30 basis point decline in product margins from increased markdowns. Total sales were up 5% to $136.4m, while comparable store sales, which include e-commerce sales, edged up 0.9%. CEO Ed Thomas, said: "We are focused as a management team on continuing these directional improvements. Our back-to-school results have been mixed, but we believe our merchandise assortment is well positioned for the season."

Express, Inc

Express has delivered what it says was a disappointing second-quarter performance as sales and earnings fell below guidance, reflecting challenging store traffic. Net income dropped to US$10.1m from $21m a year earlier. Total sales were down 6% to $504.8m from $535.6m in the prior year quarter, while comparable sales slipped 8%. E-commerce sales fell 7% to $70.1m. CEO David Kornberg said: "We believe we have identified the necessary actions to position Express to regain momentum and we are moving on them."

The Buckle, Inc  

The Buckle saw both earnings and sales fall in its second-quarter with net income dropping to US$15.5m from $23.5m a year earlier. Net sales for the 13-week period decreased 10.1% to $212.2m from sales of $236.1m in the year ago period. Comparable store sales were down 10.8% Online sales, however, were up 1.4% to $20.4m.

Stein Mart 

Off-price fashion retailer Stein Mart saw its second-quarter net profit fall 26.8% to $3m from $4.1m in the prior year. For the three months ended 30 July, total sales climbed 2.6% to $319.8m yet comparable store sales fell by 1.4%. Gross profit meanwhile, narrowed to 28% from 28.5% in the year ago period.  For the first six months of 2016, net income fell to $16.3m from $17.7m last year, while sales increased 1.6% to $675.5m.

Foot Locker, Inc

US footwear retailer Footlocker has booked a positive second-quarter with gains across all regions and channels thanks to the success of a number of strategic initiatives. Net income reached US$127m from $119m a year earlier, while gross margin improved to 33% from 32.6%. Total sales were up 5% to $1.78bn, from $1.69bn a year earlier. Comparable store sales climbed 4.7%. CEO Richard Johnson, said: "Within the second quarter, we drove comparable sales gains across basketball, running, and classic footwear, as well as apparel. We also posted gains in all regions and channels in which we operate, reflecting the success of our strategic initiatives to build our company to be an enduring retail leader with strengths across many dimensions."

Stage Stores 

US department store retailer Stage Stores said is "intensely focused" on generating positive cash flow, investing in its stores and growing its omnichannel business despite second-quarter results that were hurt by a challenging retail environment. For the three months ended 30 July, the retailer saw its net profit fall 97.5% from $1.6m to $40,000, or $0.00 per diluted share, versus $0.05 per diluted share for the prior year. The company said its performance was weighed down by continued regional pressure from depressed oil prices and the weak peso. Total sales fell 1.2% to $338.4m from $380.9m a year ago while comparable sales also decreased, by 9.8%. The company has affirmed its fiscal year guidance of comparable sales of -6% to -4% and adjusted earnings per diluted share of $0.20 to $0.40. 

Cato Corp

The Cato Corp booked mixed results in the quarter as net income grew 2% to $15.9m compared to $15.6m in the same period last year but gross margin narrowed 100 basis points to 37% as a result of higher buying, distribution and occupancy costs. Net sales were $236.7m, or a decrease of 5% from sales of $249.2m in the prior year quarter. Same-store sales were down 6%. The company's estimate of earnings per diluted share for the full year is now a range of $2.32 to $2.41 versus $2.39 last year.

New York & Co, Inc

New York & Co has issued second-quarter result in line with company expectations as GAAP net income reached US$0.9m from a loss of $0.1m in the year ago period. Gross margin increased by 30 basis points to 28.8% versus 28.5% last year thanks to benefits from a new private label credit card agreement, reduced product costs, and an improvement in the leverage of buying and occupancy costs. Net sales dropped slightly to $232.8m from $235.7 million, while comparable store sales edged up 0.3% driven by strength in the company's e-commerce business. 

Ross Stores, Inc

Ross Stores has booked growth in both earnings and sales in its second-quarter, ahead of company expectations. Net earnings grew to US$282m, up from $259m last year. Sales for the quarter rose 7% to $3.18bn, with comparable store sales up 4% on top of 4% growth in the prior year. CEO Barbara Rentler, Chief Executive Officer, commented, "Both sales and earnings results in the second quarter were ahead of our forecast. Higher merchandise gross margin during the quarter drove a 50 basis point increase in operating margin to 14.4%, up from 13.9% in the same period last year." Based on second half guidance, Ross Stores is now forecasting a fiscal 2016 earnings per share increase of 7% to 10% to $2.69 to $2.75, on top of a 14% gain last year.

Perry Ellis International, Inc

Perry Ellis said it plans to close 15 underperforming retail locations over the next 18 months as it revealed lower sales and a higher net loss in its second-quarter. Net losses amounted to US$3.6m from $1.3m a year earlier. Gross margin expanded 100 basis points to 36.6%, while total sales dropped 5% to $202m. Increased sales across the company's core global brands were offset by 3% planned business exits as well as 2% reductions in special market revenues. The company has maintained its fiscal 2017 EPS guidance of $1.95 to $2.00. Revenues are expected in the range of $885-$890m.

The Bon-Ton Stores

US department store retailer The Bon-Ton Stores said is has "made progress" on a number of its strategic initiatives despite gross profit falling $6.5m to $198.1m in the second quarter, primarily as a result of decreased sales volume. Sales also fell, swinging 2.4% to $542.4m, compared with $555.4m in the same period of the prior year while comparable sales also decreased 2.0%. Gross margin narrowed to 36.5%, compared to 36.8% in the same quarter last year. Net loss narrowed to $38.7m from $39.6m the previous year. Håkon Helgesen, retailanalyst at Conlumino said: "Today's numbers from Bon-Ton are moderately better than those posted for the first quarter. True, sales are still in shrink, but the pace of decline has eased off and, along with it, the promised improvement to gross margin is starting to come through."

Walmart

US retail giant Wal-Mart has said it is pleased with the "positive momentum" in its business after posting an increase of 0.5% in total revenue, edging up to $120.9bn, rising 2.8% excluding currency impacts. Comparable store sales were up 1.6%, marking the eighth straight quarterly gain. Earnings amounted to $3.8bn, up 8.6% from $3.5bn in the same period last year. Neil Saunders, CEO of Conlumino, said: "On the whole this is a positive update which indicates not only an improved performance in core areas of the business but also underlines the company's determination to drive future sales growth through innovation."

L Brands, Inc

L Brands has upped its full-year guidance on the back of revenues that beat expectations. The owner of Victoria's Secret said sales grew 5% in the second quarter to reach US$2.89bn from $2.76bn a year earlier. Comparable sales were up 3%. Net income amounted to $252.4m compared to $202.5m last year. Håkon Helgesen, retail analyst at Conlumino, said: "Although L Brands' growth remains some way below historic levels, the company has improved its performance on the last quarter in terms of net income. That said, much of this gain is down to exceptional items and on an underlying basis income rose by a far less impressive 1%."

American Eagle Outfitters, Inc

US apparel retailer American Eagle Outfitters says efforts to lift its brands through merchandise leadership and innovation, and investment in technology are paying off as it revealed strong earnings growth in the second quarter. Net profit increased 24.9% to US$41.6m, while gross margin improved 160 basis points to 37.3%. Net sales were up 3% to $823m, while comparable sales climbed 3%. CEO Jay Schottenstein, said: "As we enter the fall season, our execution, focus and market opportunities are greater than ever. In today's evolving retail landscape, we are committed to offering the very best product and customer experience to position AEO's brands as leaders in a new generation of successful retail brands."

Urban Outfitters, Inc

Urban Outfitters drove what it said were record second-quarter results thanks to positive retail segment comparables and a "substantial" improvement in merchandise margins. Earnings reached US$76.9m from $66.8m in the year ago period. Gross margins increased by 179 basis points. Net sales increased 3% over the same quarter last year to a record $891m. Comparable tetail segment sales, which include the company's comparable direct-to-consumer channel, edged up 1%. Comparable retail segment sales were up 5% at Urban Outfitters, was flat at Free People, and dropped 3% at the Anthropologie. Wholesale segment sales increased 4%.

Dick's Sporting Goods, Inc

Omni-channel sporting goods retailer Dick's Sporting Goods said it was pleased with its second-quarter, particularly in light of liquidation activity in the market. Earnings reached US91.4m from $90.8m in the year ago period. Net sales increased 7.9% to $2bn, while same-store sales were up 2.8%, beating company guidance of negative 4% to negative 1%. Looking ahead, the company says it is focused on "capturing the displaced market share and remain confident in our ability to strengthen our leadership position".

The Children's Place, Inc

The Children's Place has delivered what it described as "another outstanding quarter", raising its guidance for the full year. Net losses narrowed to US$2m from $13.7m in the year ago quarter. Gross margin leveraged 200 basis points to 33.4% thanks to merchandise margin and fixed cost leverage and a higher Australian dollar. Net sales were up 1.4% to $371.4m. CEO Jane Elfers, said: "We continue to demonstrate our ability to deliver on our multi-pronged transformation strategy - superior product, business transformation through technology, global growth through alternate channels of distribution and store fleet optimisation - despite the challenging retail environment and the continued weakness in store traffic." For the full year, the company now expects adjusted net income per diluted share in the range of $4.60 to $4.70, from previous guidance of $4.17 to $4.27.

TJX Companies, Inc

TJX Companies has revealed second-quarter earnings and sales in line with management expectations thanks to strong customer traffic and comps. Net income reached US$562.2m from $549.3m in the prior year. Gross margin was up 0.3 percentage points to 29.4% thanks to a strong increase in merchandise margins and gains related to the company's inventory hedges. Net sales were up 7% to $7.9bn, while comparable sales increased 4%. CEO Ernie Herrman, said: "The third quarter is off to a solid start, and we see plentiful opportunities for our business in the second half of the year and beyond. We remain laser focused on achieving our goals for 2016 and are passionate about surpassing them."

JC Penney Company, Inc

Department store retailer JC Penney reaffirmed its outlook for the full year as it revealed higher second-quarter sales and an improved net loss of $56m from a loss of $117m last year. Gross margin improved by ten basis points to 37.1%. Net sales were up 1.5% to $2.92bn, while comparable store sales increased 2.2%. CEO Marvin Ellison, said: "We are pleased with the sequential improvement we achieved throughout the second quarter, and our solid performance across all key metrics is encouraging. We are continuing to win market share and improve the bottom line of our business." For the full year, the retailer is expecting a comparable store sales increase of 3-4%, and gross margin expansion of10 to 30 basis points.

Dillards, Inc

Dillards reported what it described as "poor" second-quarter results as earnings tumbled and sales and gross margin declined. In the three months ended 30 July, net income fell to US$12.1m from $29.9m in the year ago period. Consolidated gross margin declined 99 basis points, while net sales dropped 4% to $1.45bn from $1.51bn in the prior year. CEO William Dillard, said: "The challenges facing apparel retailers continued through the second quarter, and our poor results reflect this. In spite of weak sales, we returned $57m to shareholders through stock repurchase and dividends. While we continue to deal with weakness in the fashion retail industry, we believe we are in good financial shape for the long term."

Nordstrom, Inc

US upscale fashion retailer Nordstrom has delivered what it says are "better than expected results" for the quarter. Earnings amounted to US117m from $211m in the year ago period. Gross margin was down 101 basis points to 34.3% due to increased markdowns to align inventory to current trends and higher occupancy expenses related to new store growth. Net sales dropped 0.2% to $3.6bn, while comparable sales were down 1.2%. CEO Blake Nordstrom, noted: "Over the past several quarters, our team has been actively addressing our inventory, expense and capital, and in the second quarter, made substantial progress by bringing down inventory in-line with sales. Those efforts, along with the strength of our Anniversary Sale and a great response from customers to that event, drove better than expected results for the second quarter." Analysts, however, described the results as disappointing, and pointed out that, like others, it has been affected by declining mall traffic, a trend they believe will continue to drag down sales growth across the second half. 

Macy's

US department store retailer Macy's said it is encouraged to see a "distinct" improvement in its sales and earnings trends for the second-quarter despite a drop in figures across the board. Net profit swung to US$11m from $217m a year earlier, while sales dropped 3.9% to $5.87bn compared to $6.10bn in the same period last year. For the quarter ended 30 July comparable sales on an owned plus licensed basis were down by 2%, and on an owned basis declined 2.6%. Gross margin stayed the same at 40.9%. The difference between the year-over-year change in total and comparable sales largely resulted from the closing of 41 underperforming Macy's stores in fiscal 2015. Macy's now expects full year comparable sales to drop by 3-4%, while earnings per diluted share are forecast in the range of $3.15 to $3.40. "Over the past few months, we have been saying that a setback is a setup for a comeback, and we now believe we are set up well to proceed to a comeback," adds Terry J Lundgren, Macy's chairman and CEO.  

Kohl's 

Department store retailer Kohl's has booked a mixed second-quarter as earnings climbed but sales fell, coming in below management expectations. Net profit amounted to US$140m, an 8% increase on earnings of $130m in the prior year. Gross margin improved 53 basis points to 39.5%. Net sales, however, dropped 2% to $4.18bn. CEO Kevin Mansell, said: "Our sales improved over our first quarter results, but were below our expectations. Our associates throughout the organisation continue to effectively manage expenses in response to changing sales trends and I appreciate all of their efforts."

Iconix Brand Group

Brand management company Iconix Brand Group delivered what it said was a "solid" second-quarter, despite declines in both earnings and sales. GAAP net income dropped 16% to $11.6m from $13.7m a year earlier. Net sales were down 2% to $95.7m. CEO John Haugh, noted: "I am pleased that for the second quarter, our company has delivered solid results. Our primary goal is to position ourselves to achieve growth while at the same time improving the balance sheet, and we are making progress on both of those fronts."

Crocs, Inc

US footwear firm Crocs has booked a mixed second-quarter as earnings on a GAAP basis increased 21.1% to US$11.7m, while revenues dropped 6.3% to $323.8m. CEO Gregg Ribatt said the global retail environment became more challenging as the second quarter progressed. He added: "This impacted our wholesale reorder opportunities and contributed to our sales shortfall relative to expectations. We remain confident that we have successfully repositioned the business and built the platform to provide sustained growth and profitability over the long-term." For the full year the company expects revenue to be down low single digits.

Kate Spade & Company

Kate Spade posted a "respectable" set of numbers for the quarter, but they showed a clear slowdown in the pace of growth compared to last quarter, analysts said. Earnings reached US$26.8m from $8.5m a year earlier, while gross margin narrowed to 59.7% from 61%. Net sales increased 13.7% to $320m, with direct-to-consumer comparable sales growing 4% compared to a 19% uplift posted during the first quarter. Analysts pointed to three factors that negatively impacted growth: the comeback of competitors like Coach; an increase in consumer uncertainty, especially among younger female shoppers; and a weakening of marketing impact, which has hit visiting and purchasing. 

Steve Madden

US footwear and accessories specialist Steve Madden has adjusted its sales outlook for fiscal year 2016 after posting lower than expected second-quarter results. For the three months ended 30 June, earnings dipped to US$24.7m from $24.5m last year, while gross margin expanded 130 basis points to 37.2%, compared to 35.9% in the same period last year. Net sales were up 0.6% to $325.4m, while same store sales grew 5.4%. Despite the growth, CEO Edward Rosenfeld said the company is seeing "softer than anticipated trends" in its private label footwear business and with certain international distributors. The company now expects net sales for 2016 to increase 0% to 1% compared to 2015.

Weyco Group

Footwear business Weyco has booked a drop in earnings and sales in what the company described as a "challenging" second-quarter. Net profit amounted to US$1m from $2m in the year ago quarter. Gross margin widened to 32.6% of net sales from 31% last year, while revenues fell 11% to $56.9m. North American retail sales were down 6% to $4.7m, with same-store sales down 2%. CEO Thomas Florsheim, said: "In addition to the reduced demand for our BOGS product following last year's mild winter, our retail partners saw a slowdown in traffic and a weaker sales trend, which resulted in a general concern about inventory levels which impacted our other three brands."

Black Diamond, Inc

Outdoor equipment and apparel business Black Diamond continued to experience foreign exchange challenges in the second quarter, particularly with the euro, which impacted both revenue and gross margin. Net losses narrowed slightly to US$3.2m from $3.8m. Gross margin was down 640 basis points to 28.6% due to foreign currency headwinds, an unfavourable mix in lower margin products, and costs associated with the continued ramp of its recently repatriated manufacturing activities from Asia to the US. Sales were down 3% to $29.1m.

Columbia Sportswear Inc 

Columbia Sportswear has booked record second-quarter sales of US$388.8m, a 2% increase on revenues of $380.2m a year earlier. Net losses totalled $8.2m, higher than losses of $5.8m in the prior year. The company reaffirmed its full-year outlook of mid-single-digit percentage net sales growth, and a high-single-digit percentage increase in net income to between $184m and $191m. CEO Tim Boyle said: "Our successful first-half results were highlighted by solid growth from three of our four major brands and improved gross margins in a challenging global environment."

Rocky Brands

US apparel and footwear company Rocky Brands says it is disappointed in its results for the three months to 30 June, which swung to a loss of US$1.8m, for the three months to 30 June, compared to a profit of $2m last year. Sales fell 9% to $62.6m from $68.6m last year. Wholesale sales declined 23% to $41.5m from $53.9m, while retail sales were down 2% to $10.4m from $10.2m. Military segment sales jumped 139% to $10.7m compared to $4.5m. Gross margin dropped 700 basis points to 26% from 33% as the increase in military segment sales carry lower gross margins than the company's wholesale and retail segments. 

Sequential Brands

Brand management company Sequential Brands has reiterated its fiscal year guidance after posting a 69% hike in second-quarter sales. Revenue for the three months to 30 June increased to $34.2m, compared to £20.2m in the same period last year. Net income reached $3.6m, compared to $3.3m on a non-GAAP basis. Sequential Brands now continues to expect US$155m to $160m in revenue, GAAP net income of $12.7m to $14.6m and adjusted EBITDA of $88.0m to $91.0m.

Skechers USA Inc

Skechers saw its shares tumble around 12% on the release of its second-quarter results that fell short of analyst estimates. The company reported earnings of US$74.1m, or $0.48 per share, on revenues of $877.8m. Wall Street Journalist analyst had expected earnings of $0.52 on revenue of $888.9m. In the year ago period, earnings amounted to $79.8m on revenues of $800.5m. Earnings were negatively impacted by foreign currency translation, exchange losses, and losses from a fire at its Malaysia warehouse. Gross margin widened to 47.4% from 46.8% thanks to higher sales in its international subsidiary, joint venture businesses and company-owned retail stores. 

Under Armour, Inc

Under Armour continues to post strong topline gains, with sales up 28% in the quarter to US$1bn. The performance didn't, however, filter through to the bottom lie where earnings plummeted 58% to $6m as a result of a $23m impairment related to the liquidation of Sports Authority. Gross margin narrowed slightly to 47.7% from 48.4%, primarily due to negative impacts of around 130 basis points from sales mix driven by strong growth in footwear and international, partially offset by around 50 basis points from improved product cost margins. Despite the challenges, analysts believe the company has good growth potential across both its international and domestic businesses where sales were up 68% and 22%, respectively.

Wolverine Worldwide

US clothing and footwear business Wolverine Worldwide said it has delivered better-than-expected results for the second quarter, reaffirming its forecast for the year. Reported revenue of US$583.7m was in line with expectations, declining 7.4% versus the prior year. Reported gross margin narrowed to 38.8%, compared to 39.1% in the prior year, and 39.8% on a constant currency basis, an increase of 70 basis points versus the prior year. For the full year, Wolverine said it expects revenue in the range of $2.47bn to $2.57bn, and adjusted diluted earnings per share in the range of $1.30 to $1.40. 

Carter's Inc

Children's wear maker Carter's Inc said it has achieved its sale and earnings objectives in its second quarter despite lowering its full-year EPS guidance to growth of 5-6% from previous growth of 6-7%. Earnings in the quarter increased 0.3% to US$36.2m, while operating margin decreased around 20 basis points to 9.9%. Net sales grew 4.4% to $639.5m, reflecting growth in the company's US Carter's and OshKosh retail as well as in its international segment.