Net sales totalled US$281.2 million in the first quarter, and, despite the decline, the company notes that this is still in the top three results of any quarter in company history.

The sales decline was primarily due to reduced traffic, Shoe Carnival said, driven by persistent inflation and an almost 9% reduction in federal tax refunds compared to the first quarter of 2022.

The gross profit margin for the first quarter was 35% year-on-year but still higher than pre-pandemic 2019. Net income for the period totalled US$16.5 million, down from US$26.9 million in the first quarter of 2022.

The company has lowered its guidance for the full 2023 fiscal year and is now expecting net sales in the range of US$1.23-1.25 billion and a gross profit margin between 36-37%.

Shoe Carnival ended the first quarter with 397 stores, including 372 Shoe Carnival stores and 25 Shoe Station stores, opening one Shoe Station store and the Shoe Station e-commerce site during the period. The company reports it is on track to have more than 400 stores in the third quarter of the year.

“Despite the slower than expected start to 2023, our customer base grew at the fastest pace of the last three years, climbing to a record high of 32.7 million members at quarter end. With the continued strategic growth of our CRM and digital platforms, we now reach a critical mass of American households, engaging with approximately one out of every eight adults ongoing, growth of nearly 65% from just five years ago. I am most pleased our instore shopping experience is continuing to drive high conversion, and we once again captured market share growth within this challenging economic backdrop,” said Mark Worden, President and CEO.