Movado Sees ‘Continued Weakness’ in U.S. After Q2 Sales Slow

FinancialsAug 26, 2022

Movado Sees ‘Continued Weakness’ in U.S. After Q2 Sales Slow

The company lowered its full-year guidance, citing increased economic uncertainty.

A set of Movado Connect 2.0 watches. The company’s net sales in the U.S. were down 5 percent in its most recent quarter, and CEO Efraim Grinberg predicted “continued weakness” ahead.
Paramus, N.J.—Movado Group reported a mixed second quarter, with overall sales on the rise but U.S. sales falling.
The New Jersey-based company lowered its full-year guidance, citing “increased uncertainty in the economic environment.”
Its portfolio includes Movado and Oliva Burton as well as licensed brands like Coach and Tommy Hilfiger.
Here are five takeaways from its recent earnings report.
Movado’s U.S. sales struggled in Q2.
The company’s U.S. sales dipped 5 percent year-over-year in the second quarter.
For the first half of the year, U.S. sales dipped 0.2 percent compared with last year’s first half.
“In the U.S., we saw an increasingly difficult retail market impacted by rising inflation and the anniversary of robust stimulus programs that benefited consumers in multiple income categories,” said CEO Efraim Grinberg on an earnings call Thursday.
He also noted a slowing of the U.S. economy as the Federal Reserve hiked rates in an effort to combat inflation.
“Our [lowered] outlook does factor that there's going to be continued weakness in the U.S,” said Grinberg.
Overall net sales in the second quarter were up 5 percent year-over-year to $182.8 million compared to $173.9 million in the second quarter of fiscal 2022. 
The increase in net sales was attributed to growth in wholesale customers’ brick and mortar stores and in Movado company stores.
Gross profit was $106.9 million, or 59 percent of sales, compared to $98.5 million, or 57 percent of sales, in the prior year period.
For the first half of the year, net sales were up 12 percent to $346.2 million compared with $308.7 million in the first six months of fiscal 2022. 
First-half gross profit was $203.6 million, or 59 percent of sales, compared to $172.7 million, or 56 percent of sales in the prior year period.
Its international business, however, is doing well.
Movado’s international net sales increased 15 percent compared with the second quarter of last year.
For the first half of the year, international sales climbed 24 percent year-over-year.
International net sales increased 24.1% as compared to the same period last year.
Stimulus programs in the U.S. lifted sales last year, making for a more difficult comparison this quarter. Movado’s international markets were not impacted in the same way last year, noted Grinberg.
The company did particularly well in Latin America, India and Europe, said CFO Sallie DeMarsilis during the earnings call.
 Related stories will be right here … 
Movado lowered its full-year guidance in the face of economic uncertainty.
Movado is approaching the second half of its fiscal year with caution.
The company lowered its full-year guidance, expecting net sales to be $780 million to $790 million versus its previous outlook range of $780 million to $800 million. 
The new outlook is still growth of 7 to 8 percent compared with its previous fiscal year.
However, due to a strong first half of fiscal 2023, the company now expects operating income to be at the high-end of its previous outlook of $125 million to $130 million. 
“As we look at the second half of the year, we believe that we will need to continue to execute in an uncertain environment, including facing the impact of unfavorable currency due to the strengthening of the U.S. dollar,” said Grinberg.
“We’re returning to more normalized trends,” he added, noting the company saw strong growth in the U.S., due in part to the stimulus packages and low interest rates.
“If you look at most of our numbers against 2019, which is the last pre-pandemic year, I would expect that they'll be better than that, and they have been better than that,” he said.
Movado’s outlook does not take into consideration an increase in inflation, geopolitical unrest, or supply chain issues.
The launch of its new Calvin Klein collection is going well.
Movado launched its Calvin Klein watches and jewelry line this year.
It inked a five-year licensing agreement with the brand in August 2020 after Calvin Klein ended its 22-year licensing deal with Swatch Group.
“We are excited by our launch of Calvin Klein in both jewelry and watches, which began early this year and has exceeded our initial expectations,” said Grinberg.
“To date, we have opened over 1,500 retail doors as well as several key online retailers on a global basis.”
Watches make up about 75 percent of the brand’s overall sales with women’s watches in the lead, he said, accounting for 70 percent of watch sales.
Products that feature Calvin Klein’s branding make up about 20 percent of the business. 
In the second half of the year, Movado plans to bolster its marketing efforts in Europe, with digital ads and billboards, and have a digital launch in China.
Its other brands, in-house and licensed, also put on solid performances.
Its Movado brand posted a low-single digit decline in sales for the quarter, weighed down by slower retail in the U.S., but lifted by strong international sales, particularly in India.
“We remain excited about the prospects of Movado as we continue to elevate both the product and the brand image,” said Grinberg.
Its higher-priced watches did well, with the average retail price up 12 percent compared with last year.
Its Movado SE and Bold collections were among the best-sellers.
The Movado SE collection will expand in the fall with new colors and the introduction of a woman’s automatic version, while the Bold collection will debut new ceramic models and a new Bold Fusion Automatic.
In September, the Movado brand will launch its first influencer program, said Grinberg, recruiting a yet-to-be-named gold medal Olympic skier and a ceramicist.
The campaign will run through the holidays, as will a new Bold television commercial.
The Olivia Burton and MVMT brands are focused on revamping their marketing messages, said Grinberg.
Olivia Burton is shaking up its product assortment, with newness planned for the fall and throughout next year. MVMT also has a new leadership team.
Its licensed brands posted 15 percent year-over-year growth in the second quarter.
For Tommy Hilfiger, its “Matthew” watch for men was a top seller while women opted for the minimalist “Libby” watch with a sparkle dial. The brand will launch campaigns in Europe, Brazil, and India in the third quarter.
The Hugo Boss brand’s marketing efforts, which included influencer partners, paid off, with the “Steer” and “Novia” collections doing well.
For Coach, COVID-19 closures in China posed a problem, but that market is beginning to bounce back, said Grinberg. Sales were driven by its ceramic collection, “Greyson,” with help from the brand’s social media ad campaign starring Jennifer Lopez sporting a pink “Greyson” watch.
Lacoste’s “Replay” and “12.12” collections were best sellers for the brand. The third generation of 12.12 will launch this fall with a marketing boost in its home market of France.
Lacoste also has plans to launch a jewelry line in the fourth quarter, with more details to follow.
Lenore Fedowis the associate editor, news at National Jeweler, covering the retail beat and the business side of jewelry.

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