W L Hadley Griffin reports Brown Company Earning Up 6.1 percent*
Brown .Co. Earnings Up 6.1 Pet. ; By W. L HADLEY GRIFFIN President and Chief Executive Officer. Brown Shoe Co., Inc. Brown Shoe Co. achieved substantial growth and made signi-f icent p r o g r e s s in the fiscal year ended Oct. 31. Sales were $429,472,000, up 7.5 per c e n t over 1969. Net earnings rose 6.1 per cent with the greatest strength being shown in the third and fourth quarters. (General operations improved throughout 1970, a year characterized by intense competition, both foreign and domestic. Manufacturing levels were more favorable than they were al year ago. Retail activities were expanded. Wholesale ship- ments increased as the year progressed. Inventories were maintained at desirable levels. These factors were coupled with a successful year -long dfive to control expenses. The year was marked by significant expansion in the home sewing market, a field the company entered in 1989 with the acquisition of David Alexander, Inc. Early in 1970, we acquired the retail fabric store business of Sew 'n Sew, a St. Louis-based company. At year end, acquisition was announced of the Cloth World fabric store chain, operators of fabric cen-i ' J W. L. Hadley Griffin ters in Texas, Colorado, New Mexico and Florida. Information on fashion trends from, the company's widespread retail divisions and from independent customers throughout the nation provided valuable direction that enhanced Brown's ability to produce and stock merchandise to meet changing customer demands at both wholesale and retail levels. The performance of the company's retail divisions has been outstanding in an intensely competitive climate. Brown views this as an indication of customer acceptance of its lines of shoes marketed through these channels, and the recognized experience and skill of our retail organization. As Brown Shoe Co. e n t e r s 1971, the company's manufacturing and retail business continues strong. Orders and reorders at wholesale are ahead of last year. Plans for the coming year call for continued expan sion of retail outlets. Marketing programs with independent cus- t o m e r s call for gains in all areas. If predicted increases in consumer spending materialize, Brown Shoe Co. should see con tinued improvement in over-all shoe manufacturing and mar keting in the coming year. Increased costs continue to be a problem, and wage settle ments place increased pressure on pricing. However, Brown with its balance of manufactur ing and retail activities, with its emphasis on national marketing and technological development, has opportunities for continued gains in sales and earnings, both within and o u t s i d the shoe business.