Retailers have plenty of good explanations for recent declines in same-store sales. But The Buckle Inc., which made jaws drop Thursday with its 21 percent February increase, has difficulty explaining why it does so well.
The highly successful ??” but famously low-profile ??” firm, based in Kearney, Neb., has been a source of wonder during its recent strong run, but it may become a headache for competitors now as it moves its 391-store fleet to its most easterly point yet.
Buckle brought its winning formula to New York state for the first time with a unit in Buffalo on Feb. 26 and will arrive in Mays Landing, N.J., just in time for the back-to-school season. With a presence in 40 states, Buckle??™s greatest concentration of stores is in the Midwest and Texas and its easternmost presence before this year had been in King of Prussia, Pa. Of the 48 contiguous U.S. states, only New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, New Hampshire, Vermont and Delaware had been missing from its portfolio.
At a time when most retailers have either closed stores or at least halted openings, expansion may seem like a bold move, but for Buckle, it??™s just a ???practical approach.??? At least that??™s what its notoriously understated chief executive officer Dennis Nelson said in an interview with WWD.
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–Nikki Cho Russo