Zumiez is cautious about short-term, bullish about future

LYNNWOOD — Retailer Zumiez Inc. posted better-than-expected sales this spring, but company executives say their expectations for the year are tempered by an unsteady retail market.

Despite the short-term uncertainty, the future is bright for the Lynnwood-based company, which continues to open new stores, Zumiez Chief Executive Officer Rick Brooks said Thursday during a conference call with investment analysts.

Zumiez had nearly $163 million in net retail and online sales from February to the beginning of May, a 9.7 percent increase over the same period last year. But higher operating costs and other expenses yielded net income of $2.5 million, about identical to the same period in 2013.

Same-store and online sales increased 1.8 percent over the same period last year.

The company expects sales to increase slightly, ranging between $167 million and $171 million through August. Most of its sales are in the second half of the year.

“We remain cautious with our short-term outlook as the uncertainties surrounding the retail environment persist,” Brooks said in the call.

European sales increased nearly 35 percent to $12.3 million for February through early May — the first quarter of the company’s fiscal year. It opened two new stores in Europe during that period and has plans for three more openings this year, which will bring its total there to 17.

Zumiez is bullish about the long term. The company continues opening new stores. During the quarter, it opened seven new stores and is on track for 55 new stores in all through January 2015.

The company began in 1978 with one store in Seattle’s Northgate Mall. Now it has more than 550, including more than 25 in Canada and 14 in Europe.

In all, Zumiez plans to add between 600 and 700 new stores, more than doubling its current physical presence, Chief Financial Officer Chris Work said.

Zumiez isn’t selling a commodity, and it’s more than sportswear. It’s a “lifestyle retailer,” Brooks said. “We’re really serving this consumer who wants to be different, who wants to be unique, wants to make a statement about who they are and what lifestyle they’re embracing through what they wear.”

Dan Catchpole: 425-339-3454; dcatchpole@heraldnet.com; Twitter: @dcatchpole.

More in Herald Business Journal

With surging Amazon stock, Bezos now worth more than $100B

It’s the first time anyone has crossed the $100 billion threshold since 1999.

Small retailers aim for emotional ties big chains may lack

“Put yourself into the community more and the money will come back to you.”

Plans being developed for surplus school land

Two major projects could be built on properties owned by the Edmonds School District.

Even in the Amazon era, Black Friday shows stores are alive

Industry analysts are watching how the nation’s malls fare this holiday shopping season.

Japan’s Mitsubishi Materials reports faked quality data

The company makes components used to make autos, aircraft and electricity generation equipment.

Restaurant owners finding strong appetites in Detroit

The former manufacturing and car-making city is remaking itself into a technology hub.

A look at what some stores have planned for Black Friday

With unemployment low, stores are hoping customers are in a mood to shop.

Boeing bolsters team for potential 797 with leading engineer

Terry Beezhold has been chief project engineer for the 777X program.

Uber paid off their hackers — they’re far from the only ones

“More and more companies have their own Bitcoin wallets for such cases.”

Most Read