How, when you increase your sales less than half of one percent (compared to the prior year’s quarter) from $152.1 to $152.8 million, do you manage to increase your net income 36.5% from $6.42 to $8.76 million even though tax expense rose by $1.38 million while operating with five less stores (220 total)?
Zumiez increased revenues and profits in their October 29 quarter compared to the same quarter last year. The more interesting strategic question is how (if a single quarter is indicative of longer terms trends) and I’d like to highlight three factors that I see working together, though they are typically discussed separately.
Well, it appears I’ve done it again. After having published just this morning an article in which I said, “Billabong would be better off as a private company, but I don’t see a path to privatization that makes sense to Oaktree,” Billabong has received an offer to have its outstanding shares acquired for $1.00 each (Australian dollars) from Boardriders (formerly Quiksilver), in which Oaktree has a majority interest. Guess I should have added, “to which Billabong could be expected to agree.” I may still turn out to be right with that caveat. Here’s the announcement.
A few weeks ago, you no doubt saw the reports that Billabong (which would mean Oaktree Capital Management– the controlling investor in Billabong) was doing due diligence on Rip Curl as a possible acquisition. Oaktree, of course, is also a major investor in Quiksilver.
When Oaktree invested in Billabong, there were some rumblings about combining it with Quiksilver, but nothing ever happened.
Meanwhile, we have a bit of information on Rip Curl’s earnings and last week, and Billabong held its annual shareholders meeting where Chairman Ian Pollard and CEO Neil Fiske reviewed the full year results. Those results were released back in the middle of August and I wrote this article about them.
“Okay Diane [my wife], I give up. We’ve been trying to find a smaller house for two years in this stupid Seattle real estate market. It ain’t happening until next spring and I’m buying the cord of wood we need for our fire place to get through the winter (along with some red wine).”
Wood arrives. We get it stacked. Next day (you had to see this coming)- “Jeff, I’ve found our house!”
So she had. The house we’ve now bought went on the market September 28th, we were in escrow on October 12th, closed about ten days later, put our old house on the market (way more fun to be a seller than a buyer in Seattle right now) and moved into the new place November 6th. As the pile of boxes has diminished, I’ve once again turned to what’s going on in the industry.
Two months ago, I got an email from Dave Grant, the owner of Vermin Scooter Shop in Calgary.
“A what kind of shop?!” I thought. Scooter shop. Yep.
Like many of you, I remember all those years ago when scooters first made their appearance. Also like many of you, especially in the skate industry, I expected scooters to be a blip that went away. I recall how they followed the typical and expected trajectory- grew exponentially, got over supplied, crashed. That’s the end of that, many of us thought.
So, I don’t know what’s going to happen this afternoon, much less five years from now. Without comment, I just want to direct your attention to this article/presentation by the BBC. Just go to this link, hit “TAP HERE” and start reading, scrolling and watching. I’m sure some of this is going to happen. I’m sure some of it isn’t. I’m sure some stuff we haven’t even begun to imagine is going to happen.
Not predicting the future here. Just want you to consider the possibilities and consider how it might be used to help your business.
Perhaps I bring the most value to the industry when a reader sends me something they think is important but that they don’t want to be directly associated with. And they figure, “Send it to Jeff! He’ll publicize anything.”
Most of the time, they’re right and this is one of those times.
We believe in the power of brands. We have to. In action sports/active outdoor, there are very few “moats” around products. That is, there are few distinguishing product features not based on marketing that are sustainable and even long-established brand names run into difficulties holding onto their market positions. Witness Nike’s current struggles.
Years ago, I asked if maybe brands weren’t going to be as important as they had been. I was wrong- and right.
Roots, a Canadian retailer, has filed a prospectus for a public offering. Here’s the link to their web site. As usual, the initial prospectus is missing a lot of key numbers, but I’ll do the best I can.
Roots has been around since 1973, so they must be doing something right. “As of July 29, 2017, our integrated omni-channel footprint included 116 corporate retail stores in Canada, 4 corporate retail stores in the United States, 109 partner-operated stores in Taiwan, 27 partner-operated stores in China and a global e-commerce platform that shipped to 54 countries during our most recently completed fiscal year.” They had 2,200 full time employees.
I enjoy hearing from you, even when you disagree. The exchange means that I learn something, too. Leave a comment on any of my posts to contact me directly.
Market Watch updates
- How Brick and Mortar Retail Has to ChangeJune 29, 2018 - 11:07 am
- A Look at Zumiez’s April 29 Quarter: I Take the Lazy ApproachJune 14, 2018 - 11:42 am
- Deckers’ Results for the Year; Sanuk Continues in Cleanup ModeJune 8, 2018 - 7:54 am
- Defying Gravity: VF’s Quarter and Van’s ResultsMay 23, 2018 - 12:29 pm