Despite the disruption of the coronavirus pandemic, Ollie’s Bargain Outlet maintained its momentum in the first quarter, as stores remained open to serve customers.
Net sales totaled $349.4 million in the first quarter of fiscal 2020, ended May 2, an increase of 7.5% compared with net sales of $324.9 million in the first quarter of fiscal 2019. The increase in net sales was driven by strong new store performance. Comparable store sales decreased 3.3%, following a 0.8% increase in the same period last year.
The company said it experienced significant volatility in its comparable store sales during the first quarter as traffic and sales significantly decreased in the initial consumer reaction to the pandemic. The company’s stores remained open during the quarter, and comparable store sales subsequently improved as it responded to changing consumer needs and benefited from consumer spending associated with receipt of federal relief funds for the pandemic.
Net income decreased 13.6% to $33.5 million, or $0.51 per diluted share, in the first quarter of fiscal 2020 compared with net income of $38.7 million, or $0.59 per diluted share, in the first quarter of fiscal 2019.
John Swygert, Ollie’s president and CEO, said, “We are pleased with and proud of our first quarter performance in light of the challenges we faced from COVID-19 and the current economic backdrop. We saw comparable sales turn positive following steep declines mid-quarter, coinciding with the arrival of stimulus checks in addition to our communications to customers that we remain open and have great deals on items they need. The inflection in our comp trend clearly demonstrates our ability to pivot quickly and respond to changing customer demands.”
Swygert added, “Our second quarter sales are off to a strong start and we will continue to respond to the current environment by remaining agile, managing costs and leveraging our strong cash position. That said, given the continued uncertainties regarding the duration and severity of the impact of COVID-19, we are not providing fiscal 2020 guidance. As we look ahead, we are uniquely well-positioned to capitalize on the market disruption we expect to see later this year. Based on our proven business model, strong track record of success in both good and bad economic times, and the growth opportunities in front of us, we remain very excited about our future.”