Steve Madden reported tepid preliminary sales results for the fourth quarter 2014, and its shares dropped 2.4%. Sales were flat compared to the same quarter in 2013, as the wholesale segment declined, despite some strength in retail. CEO Edward Rosenfeld described the fourth quarter as “challenging” as reported by Retail Business Review. The results were soft because of a slow delivery on a West Coast Port, challenges in incorporating the new acquisition of Dolce Vita, inventory challenges and production delays in Mexico. However, Rosenfeld is confident that the Dolce Vita and Brian Atwood acquisitions will create value for the company and that its Mexican licenses and a joint venture in South Africa will drive sales.
Sales for the fourth quarter were $342.6 million, which were flat compared to last year. Wholesale declined 0.9% and retail was up 1.7%. However, comparable sale stores declined by 8.1%. Management lowered its guidance, with sales expected in the $1.75 to $1.76 range compared to previous targets of $1.81 to $1.86.
The company revamped its website, and has enhanced the shopping experience for mobile and tablet users. Steve Madden has also increased its exposure on social media sites.