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2020-02-01

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          

 

UNITED STATES

SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION

Washington, D.C. 20549

 

FORM 10-K

 

ANNUAL REPORT PURSUANT TO SECTION 13 OR 15(d) OF THE SECURITIES EXCHANGE ACT OF 1934

For the fiscal year ended: January 30, 2021

OR

TRANSITION REPORT PURSUANT TO SECTION 13 OR 15(d) OF THE SECURITIES EXCHANGE ACT OF 1934

Commission File Number: 000-51300

 

ZUMIEZ INC.

(Exact name of Registrant as specified in its charter)

 

 

Washington

91-1040022

(State or other jurisdiction of

(IRS Employer

incorporation or organization)

Identification No.)

 

 

4001 204th Street SW

 

Lynnwood, Washington

98036

(Address of principal executive offices)

(Zip Code)

(425551-1500

(Registrant’s telephone number, including area code)

 

Securities registered pursuant to Section 12(g) of the Act: None

Indicate by check mark if the registrant is a well-known seasoned issuer, as defined in Rule 405 of the Securities Act.    Yes       No  

Indicate by check mark if the registrant is not required to file reports pursuant to Section 13 or Section 15(d) of the Act.    Yes      No  

Indicate by check mark whether the registrant (1) has filed all reports required to be filed by Section 13 or 15 (d) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 during the preceding 12 months (or for such shorter period that the Registrant was required to file such reports), and (2) has been subject to such filing requirements for the last 90 days.    Yes      No  

Indicate by check mark whether the registrant has submitted electronically every Interactive Data File required to be submitted pursuant to Rule 405 of Regulation S-T (§232.405 of this chapter) during the preceding 12 months (or for such shorter period that the Registrant was required to submit such files).   Yes      No   

Indicate by check mark whether the registrant is a large accelerated filer, an accelerated filer, a non-accelerated filer, smaller reporting company, or an emerging growth company. See the definitions of “large accelerated filer,” “accelerated filer,” “smaller reporting company,” and “emerging growth company” in Rule 12b-2 of the Exchange Act.

Large accelerated filer

 

Accelerated filer

Non-accelerated filer

  

Smaller reporting company

Emerging growth company

 

 

If an emerging growth company, indicate by check mark if the registrant has elected not to use the extended transition period for complying with any new or revised financial accounting standards provided pursuant to Section 13(a) of the Exchange Act.  

Indicate by check mark whether the registrant has filed a report on and attestation to its management’s assessment of the effectiveness of its internal control over financial reporting under Section 404(b) of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act (15 U.S.C. 7262(b)) by the registered public accounting firm that prepared or issued its audit report.  

Indicate by check mark if the registrant is a shell company (as defined in Rule 12b-2 of the Exchange Act).     Yes      No  

Securities registered pursuant to Section 12(b) of the Act:

Title of each class

Trading

Symbol(s)

Name of each exchange on which registered

Common Stock

ZUMZ

Nasdaq Global Select

 

The aggregate market value of the voting and non-voting stock held by non-affiliates of the registrant as of the last business day of the second fiscal quarter, August 1, 2020, was $483,857,359.  At March 8, 2021, there were 25,619,769 shares outstanding of common stock.

DOCUMENTS INCORPORATED BY REFERENCE

The information required by Part III of this report is incorporated by reference from the Registrant’s definitive proxy statement, relating to the Annual Meeting of Shareholders scheduled to be held June 2, 2021, which definitive proxy statement will be filed not later than 120 days after the end of the fiscal year to which this report relates.

 

 

 


 

ZUMIEZ INC.

FORM 10-K

TABLE OF CONTENTS

 

 

 

PART I

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Item 1.

 

Business

 

3

Item 1A.

 

Risk Factors

 

11

Item 1B.

 

Unresolved Staff Comments

 

21

Item 2.

 

Properties

 

21

Item 3.

 

Legal Proceedings

 

21

Item 4.

 

Mine Safety Disclosures

 

21

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

PART II

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Item 5.

 

Market for the Registrant’s Common Equity, Related Shareholder Matters and Issuer Purchases of Equity Securities

 

22

Item 6.

 

Selected Financial Data

 

24

Item 7.

 

Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations

 

26

Item 7A.

 

Quantitative and Qualitative Disclosures About Market Risk

 

39

Item 8.

 

Financial Statements and Supplementary Data

 

39

Item 9.

 

Changes in and Disagreements with Accountants on Accounting and Financial Disclosure

 

40

Item 9A.

 

Controls and Procedures

 

40

Item 9B.

 

Other Information

 

42

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

PART III

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Item 10.

 

Directors, Executive Officers and Corporate Governance

 

43

Item 11.

 

Executive Compensation

 

43

Item 12.

 

Security Ownership of Certain Beneficial Owners and Management and Related Shareholder Matters

 

43

Item 13.

 

Certain Relationships and Related Transactions, and Director Independence

 

43

Item 14.

 

Principal Accountant Fees and Services

 

43

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

PART IV

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Item 15.

 

Exhibits, Financial Statement Schedules

 

44

Signatures

 

75

 

 

 


 

ZUMIEZ INC.

FORM 10-K

PART I.

This Form 10-K contains forward-looking statements.  These statements relate to our expectations for future events and future financial performance.  Generally, the words “anticipates,” “expects,” “intends,” “may,” “should,” “plans,” “believes,” “predicts,” “potential,” “continue” and similar expressions identify forward-looking statements.  Forward-looking statements involve risks and uncertainties, and future events and circumstances could differ significantly from those anticipated in the forward-looking statements.  These statements are only predictions.  Actual events or results may differ materially.  Factors which could affect our financial results are described in Item 1A below and in Item 7 of Part II of this Form 10-K.  Readers are cautioned not to place undue reliance on these forward-looking statements, which speak only as of the date hereof.  Although we believe that the expectations reflected in the forward-looking statements are reasonable, we cannot guarantee future results, levels of activity, performance or achievements.  Moreover, neither we nor any other person assume responsibility for the accuracy and completeness of the forward-looking statements.  We undertake no duty to update any of the forward-looking statements after the date of this report to conform such statements to actual results or to changes in our expectations.

We use a fiscal calendar widely used by the retail industry that results in a fiscal year consisting of a 52- or 53-week period ending on the Saturday closest to January 31. Each fiscal year consists of four 13-week quarters, with an extra week added to the fourth quarter every five or six years. Fiscal 2021 will be the 52 week period ending January 29, 2022. Fiscal 2020 was the 52 week period ending January 30, 2021.  Fiscal 2019 was the 52 week period ending February 1, 2020.  Fiscal 2018 was the 52 week period ending February 2, 2019.  Fiscal 2017 was the 53 week period ending February 3, 2018. Fiscal 2016 was the 52 week period ending January 28, 2017.

“Zumiez,” the “Company,” “we,” “us,” “its,” “our” and similar references refer to Zumiez Inc. and its wholly-owned subsidiaries.

Item 1.

BUSINESS

Zumiez Inc., including its wholly-owned subsidiaries, is a leading specialty retailer of apparel, footwear, accessories and hardgoods for young men and women who want to express their individuality through the fashion, music, art and culture of action sports, streetwear and other unique lifestyles.  Zumiez Inc. was formed in August 1978 and is a Washington State corporation.

We operate under the names Zumiez, Blue Tomato and Fast Times.  We operate ecommerce websites at zumiez.com, zumiez.ca, blue-tomato.com and fasttimes.com.au. At January 30, 2021, we operated 721 stores; 602 in the United States (“U.S.”), 52 in Canada, 54 in Europe and 13 in Australia.  

We acquired Blue Tomato in fiscal 2012.  Blue Tomato is one of the leading European specialty retailers of apparel, footwear, accessories and hardgoods.  We acquired Fast Times Skateboarding (“Fast Times”) in fiscal 2016. Fast Times is an Australian leading specialty retailer of hardgoods, accessories, apparel and footwear.

We employ a sales strategy that integrates our stores with our ecommerce platform to serve our customers.  There is significant interaction between our store sales and our ecommerce sales channels and we believe that they are utilized in tandem by our customers.  Our selling platforms bring the look and feel of an independent specialty shop through a distinctive store environment and high-energy sales personnel.  We seek to staff our stores with store associates who are knowledgeable users of our products, which we believe provides our customers with enhanced customer service and supplements our ability to identify and react quickly to emerging trends and fashions.  We design our selling platforms to appeal to teenagers and young adults and to serve as a destination for our customers.  We believe that our distinctive selling platforms concepts and compelling economics will provide continued opportunities for growth in both new and existing markets.

3


We believe that our customers desire authentic merchandise and fashion that is rooted in the fashion, music, art and culture of action sports, streetwear and other unique lifestyles to express their individuality.  We strive to keep our merchandising mix fresh by continuously introducing new brands, styles and categories of product.  Our focus on a diverse collection of brands allows us to quickly adjust to changing fashion trends.  We believe that our strategic mix of apparel, footwear, accessories and hardgoods, including skateboards, snowboards, bindings, components and other equipment, allows us to strengthen the potential of the brands we sell and helps to affirm our credibility with our customers.  In addition, we supplement our merchandise mix with a select offering of private label apparel and products as a value proposition that we believe complements our overall merchandise selection.

Over our 42-year history, we have developed a corporate culture based on a passion for serving our customers through the lens of action sports, streetwear and other unique lifestyles. We have increased our earnings from $1.04 in fiscal 2015 to $3.00 in fiscal 2020, representing a 23.6% compound annual growth rate; and been profitable in every fiscal year of our 42-year history.

Competitive Strengths

We believe that the following competitive strengths differentiate us from our competitors and are critical to our continuing success.

Attractive Lifestyle Retailing Concept.  We target a large population of young men and women, many of whom we believe are attracted to action sports, streetwear and other unique lifestyles and desire to express their personal independence and style through the apparel, footwear and accessories they wear and the equipment they use.  We believe we have developed a brand image that our customers view as consistent with their attitudes, fashion tastes and identity and differentiates us in our market.

Differentiated Merchandising Strategy.  We have created a highly differentiated global retailing concept by offering an extensive selection of current and relevant lifestyle brands encompassing apparel, footwear, accessories and hardgoods.  The breadth of merchandise offered through our sales channels exceeds that offered by many of our competitors and includes some brands and products that are available only from us.  Many of our customers desire to update their wardrobes and equipment as fashion trends evolve or the season dictates, providing us the opportunity to shift our merchandise selection seasonally.  We believe that our ability to quickly recognize changing brand and style preferences and transition our merchandise offerings allows us to continually provide a compelling offering to our customers.

Deep-rooted Culture.  We believe our culture and brand image enable us to successfully attract and retain high quality employees who are passionate and knowledgeable about the products we sell.  We place great emphasis on customer service and satisfaction, and we have made this a defining feature of our corporate culture.  To preserve our culture, we strive to promote from within and we provide our employees with the knowledge and tools to succeed through our comprehensive training programs and the empowerment to manage their stores to meet localized customer demand.

Distinctive Customer Experience.  We strive to provide a convenient shopping environment that is appealing and clearly communicates our distinct brand image.  We seek to integrate our store and digital shopping experiences to serve our customers whenever, wherever and however they choose to engage with us.  We seek to attract knowledgeable sale associates who identify with our brand and are able to offer superior customer service, advice and product expertise.  We believe that our distinctive shopping experience enhances our image as a leading source for apparel and equipment for action sports, streetwear and other unique lifestyles.

4


Disciplined Operating Philosophy.  We have an experienced senior management team.  Our management team has built a strong operating foundation based on sound retail principles that underlie our unique culture.  Our philosophy emphasizes an integrated combination of results measurement, training and incentive programs, all designed to drive sales productivity to the individual store associate level.  Our comprehensive training programs are designed to provide our employees with the knowledge and tools to develop leadership, communication, sales, and operational expertise.  We believe that our merchandising team immersion in the lifestyles we represent, supplemented with feedback from our customers, store associates, and omni-channel leadership, allows us to consistently identify and react to emerging fashion trends.  We believe that this, combined with our inventory planning and allocation processes and systems, helps us better manage markdown and fashion risk.

High-Impact, Integrated Marketing Approach.  We seek to build relationships with our customers through a multi-faceted marketing approach that is designed to integrate our brand images with the lifestyles we represent.  Our marketing efforts focus on reaching our customers in their environment and feature extensive grassroots marketing events, as well as the Zumiez STASH loyalty program.  Our marketing efforts incorporate local sporting and music event promotions, interactive contest sponsorships that actively involve our customers with our brands and products and various social network channels.  Events and activities such as these provide opportunities for our customers to develop a strong identity with our culture and brands.  Our STASH loyalty program allows us to learn more about our customer and serve their needs better. We believe that our ability to interact with our customer, and our immersion in the lifestyles we represent, allows us to build credibility with our customers and gather valuable feedback on evolving customer preferences.

Growth Strategy

We intend to expand our presence as a leading global specialty retailer of action sports, streetwear, and other unique lifestyles by:

Continuing to Generate Sales Growth through Existing Channels.  We seek to maximize our comparable sales through our integrated store and online shopping experiences and offering our customers a broad and relevant selection of brands and products, including a unique customer experience through each interaction with our brand. We believe in driving to the optimum store count in each physical geography that we operate in and optimizing comparable sales within these markets between physical and digital to drive total trade area sales growth.

Enhancing our Brand Awareness through Continued Marketing and Promotion.  We believe that a key component of our success is the brand exposure that we receive from our marketing events, promotions, and activities that embody the unique lifestyles of our customers.  These are designed to assist us in increasing brand awareness in our existing markets and expanding into new markets by strengthening our connection with our target customer base.  We also use our STASH loyalty program to increase brand engagement and enhance brand creditability. We believe that our marketing efforts have also been successful in generating and promoting interest in our product offerings.  In addition, we use our ecommerce presence to further increase our brand awareness.  We plan to continue to expand our integrated marketing efforts by promoting more events and activities in our existing and new markets.  We also benefit from branded vendors’ marketing.

Opening or Acquiring New Store Locations.  We believe our brand has appeal that provides select store expansion opportunities, particularly within our international markets.  During the last three fiscal years, we have opened 41 new stores consisting of 12 stores in fiscal 2020, 16 stores in fiscal 2019 and 13 stores in fiscal 2018.  We have successfully opened stores in diverse markets throughout the U.S. and internationally, which we believe demonstrates the portability and growth potential of our concepts. To take advantage of what we believe to be a compelling economic store model, we plan to open approximately 22 new stores in fiscal 2021, including stores in our existing markets and in new markets internationally. The number of anticipated store openings may increase or decrease due to market conditions and other factors. Our goal in opening stores is to not have one more store than needed to serve all our customers within a trade area.  

5


Merchandising and Purchasing

Our goal is to be viewed by our customers as the definitive source of merchandise for their unique lifestyles across all channels in which we operate.  We believe that the breadth of merchandise that we offer our customers, which includes apparel, footwear, accessories, and hardgoods, exceeds that offered by many other specialty stores at a single location, and makes us a single-stop purchase destination for our target customers.

We seek to identify fashion trends as they develop and to respond in a timely manner with a relevant product assortment.  We strive to keep our merchandising mix fresh by continuously introducing new brands or styles in response to the evolving desires of our customers.  Our merchandise mix may vary by region, country and season, reflecting the preferences and seasons in each market.

We believe that offering an extensive selection of current and relevant brands in sports, fashion, music and art is integral to our overall success.  No single third-party brand that we carry accounted for more than 9.4%, 13.9% and 12.4% of our net sales in fiscal 2020, 2019 and 2018, respectively.  We believe that our strategic mix of apparel, footwear, accessories and hardgoods allows us to strengthen the potential of the brands we sell and affirms our credibility with our customers.

We believe that our ability to maintain an image consistent with the unique lifestyles of our customers is important to our key vendors.  Given our scale and market position, we believe that many of our key vendors view us as an important retail partner.  This position helps ensure our ability to procure a relevant product assortment and quickly respond to the changing fashion interests of our customers.  Additionally, we believe we are presented with a greater variety of products and styles by some of our vendors, as well as certain specially designed items that we exclusively distribute. We supplement our merchandise assortment with a select offering of private label products across many of our product categories.  Our private label products complement the branded products we sell, and some of our private label brands allow us to cater to the more value-oriented customer.  For fiscal 2020, 2019 and 2018, our private label merchandise represented 11.4%, 11.3% and 13.1% of our net sales, respectively.

We have developed a disciplined approach to buying and a dynamic inventory planning and allocation process to support our merchandise strategy.  We utilize a broad vendor base that allows us to shift our merchandise purchases as required to react quickly to changing consumer demands and market conditions.  We manage the purchasing and allocation process by reviewing branded merchandise lines from new and existing vendors, identifying emerging fashion trends and selecting branded merchandise styles in quantities, colors and sizes to meet inventory levels established by management.  We coordinate inventory levels in connection with individual stores’ sales strength, our promotions and seasonality. We utilize a localized fulfillment strategy to fulfill the majority of our ecommerce orders through our stores to enhance customer experience, maximize inventory productivity and reduce shipping time.

Our merchandising staff remains in tune with the fashion, music, art and culture of action sports, streetwear and other unique lifestyles by participating in lifestyles we support, attending relevant events and concerts, watching related programming and reading relevant publications and social network channels. In order to identify evolving trends and fashion preferences, our staff spends considerable time analyzing sales data, gathering feedback from our stores and customers, shopping in key markets and soliciting input from our vendors. With a global footprint, we are able to identify trends that emerge all over the world.  

We source our private label merchandise from primarily foreign manufacturers around the world.  We have cultivated our private label sources with a view towards high quality merchandise, production reliability and consistency of fit.  We believe that our knowledge of fabric and production costs combined with a flexible sourcing base enables us to source high-quality private label goods at favorable costs.

6


Stores

Store Locations. At January 30, 2021, we operated 721 stores in the following locations:

 

United States and Puerto Rico - 602 Stores

Alabama

4

 

Indiana

10

 

Nebraska

3

 

Rhode Island

2

Alaska

3

 

Iowa

4

 

New Hampshire

6

 

South Carolina

4

Arizona

12

 

Kansas

3

 

New Jersey

20

 

South Dakota

2

Arkansas

2

 

Kentucky

4

 

New Mexico

5

 

Tennessee

9

California

89

 

Louisiana

6

 

New York

33

 

Texas

50

Colorado

19

 

Maine

3

 

Nevada

9

 

Utah

14

Connecticut

10

 

Maryland

11

 

North Carolina

13

 

Vermont

1

Delaware

4

 

Massachusetts

10

 

North Dakota

4

 

Virginia

14

Florida

35

 

Michigan

13

 

Ohio

13

 

Washington

23

Georgia

13

 

Minnesota

11

 

Oklahoma

6

 

West Virginia

2

Hawaii

7

 

Mississippi

4

 

Oregon

13

 

Wisconsin

13

Idaho

6

 

Missouri

7

 

Pennsylvania

23

 

Wyoming

2

Illinois

18

 

Montana

5

 

Puerto Rico

5

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Canada - 52 Stores

Alberta

8

 

New Brunswick

1

 

Saskatchewan

2

 

 

 

British Columbia

12

 

Nova Scotia

2

 

 

 

 

 

 

Manitoba

2

 

Ontario

25

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Europe - 54 Stores

Austria

15

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Germany

25

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Switzerland

8

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Netherlands

3

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Finland

3

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Australia - 13 Stores

Victoria

6

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Queensland

3

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

South Australia

2

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

New South Wales

2

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The following table shows the number of stores (excluding temporary stores that we operate from time to time for special or seasonal events) opened, acquired and permanently closed in each of our last three fiscal years:

 

Fiscal Year

 

Stores

Opened

 

Stores

Closed (1)

 

Total Number of

Stores End of Year

2020

 

12

 

9

 

721

2019

 

16

 

5

 

718

2018

 

13

 

4

 

707

 

 

(1)

Store closures above do not include short-term closures in fiscal 2020 due to the impact of the novel coronavirus (“COVID-19”) pandemic.

7


Store Design and Environment.  We design our stores to create a distinctive and engaging shopping environment that we believe resonates with our customers.  Our stores feature an industrial look, dense merchandise displays, lifestyle focused posters and signage and popular music, all of which are consistent with the look and feel of an independent specialty shop.  Our stores are designed to encourage our customers to shop for longer periods of time, to interact with each other and our store associates and to visit our stores more frequently.  Our stores are constructed and finished to allow us to efficiently shift merchandise displays throughout the year as the season dictates.  At January 30, 2021, our stores averaged approximately 2,946 square feet.  All references in this Annual Report on Form 10-K to square footage of our stores refers to gross square footage, including retail selling, storage and back-office space.  

Expansion Opportunities and Site Selection.  In selecting a location for a new store, we target high-traffic locations with suitable demographics and favorable lease terms.  We generally locate our stores in areas in which other teen and young adult-oriented retailers have performed well.  We focus on evaluating the market specific competitive environment for potential new store locations.  We seek to diversify our store locations regionally and by caliber of mall or shopping area.  For mall locations, we seek locations near busy areas of the mall such as food courts, movie theaters, game stores and other popular teen and young adult retailers.  

Store Management, Operations and Training.  We believe that our success is dependent in part on our ability to attract, train, retain and motivate qualified employees at all levels of our organization.  We have developed a corporate culture that we believe empowers the individual store managers to make store-level business decisions and consistently rewards their success.  We are committed to improving the skills and careers of our workforce and providing advancement opportunities for employees.

We believe we provide our managers with the knowledge and tools to succeed through our comprehensive training programs and the flexibility to manage their stores to meet customer demands.  While general guidelines for our merchandise assortments, store layouts and in-store visuals are provided by our home offices, we give our managers substantial discretion to tailor their stores to the individual market and empower them to make store-level business decisions.  We design group training programs for our managers to improve both operational expertise and supervisory skills.

Our store associates generally have an interest in the fashion, music, art and culture of the lifestyle we support and are knowledgeable about our products.  Through our training, evaluation and incentive programs, we seek to enhance the productivity of our store associates.  These programs are designed to promote a competitive, yet fun, culture that is consistent with the unique lifestyles we seek to promote.

Marketing and Advertising

We seek to reach our target customer audience through a multi-faceted marketing approach that is designed to integrate our brand image with the lifestyles we represent.  Our marketing efforts focus on reaching our customers in their environment, and feature extensive grassroots marketing events, which give our customers an opportunity to experience and participate in the lifestyles we offer.  Our grassroots marketing events are built around the demographics of our customer base and offer an opportunity for our customers to develop a strong identity with our brands and culture.

We have a customer loyalty program, the Zumiez STASH, which allows members to earn points for purchases or performance of certain activities.  The points can be redeemed for a broad range of rewards, including product and experiential rewards. Our marketing efforts also incorporate local sporting and music event promotions, advertising in magazines popular with our target market, interactive contest sponsorships that actively involve our customers with our brands and products, the Zumiez STASH, catalogs and various social network channels.  We believe that our immersion in action sports, streetwear and other unique lifestyles allows us to build credibility with our target audience and gather valuable feedback on evolving customer preferences.

8


Distribution and Fulfillment

Timely and efficient distribution of merchandise to our stores is an important component of our overall business strategy.  Domestically, our distribution center is located in Corona, California.  At this facility, merchandise is inspected, allocated to stores and distributed to our stores and customers.  Each store is typically shipped merchandise five times a week, providing our stores with a steady flow of new merchandise.  We utilize a localized fulfillment strategy in which we use our domestic store network to provide fulfillment services for the vast majority of online customer purchases.

Internationally, we operate a distribution centers located in Delta, Canada, Graz, Austria, and Melbourne, Australia to support our operations in Canada, Europe and Australia, respectively. Each of our international entities are progressing toward full localized fulfillment and are in various states of implementation.

Management Information Systems

Our management information systems provide integration of store, online, merchandising, distribution, financial and human resources functions.  The systems include applications related to point-of-sale, inventory management, supply chain, planning, sourcing, merchandising and financial reporting.  We continue to invest in technology to align these systems with our business requirements and to support our continuing growth.

Competition

The teenage and young adult retail apparel, hardgoods, footwear and accessories industry is highly competitive.  We compete with other retailers for vendors, customers, suitable store locations and qualified store associates, management personnel, online marketing content, social media engagement and ecommerce traffic. In the softgoods market, which includes apparel, footwear and accessories, we currently compete with other teenage and young adult focused retailers.  In addition, in the softgoods market we compete with independent specialty shops, department stores, vendors that sell their products directly to the retail market, non-mall retailers and ecommerce retailers.  In the hardgoods market, which includes skateboards, snowboards, bindings, components and other equipment, we compete directly or indirectly with the following categories of companies: other specialty retailers, such as local snowboard and skate shops, large-format sporting goods stores and chains, vendors who sell their products directly to the retail market and ecommerce retailers.

Competition in our sector is based on, among other things, merchandise offerings, store location, price, and the ability to identify with the customer.  We believe that our ability to compete favorably with our competitors is due to our differentiated merchandising strategy, compelling store environment and deep-rooted culture.

Seasonality

Historically, our operations have been seasonal, with the largest portion of net sales and net income occurring in the third and fourth fiscal quarters, reflecting increased demand during the back-to-school and winter holiday selling seasons.  During fiscal 2020, approximately 60% of our net sales occurred in the third and fourth quarters combined.  As a result of this seasonality, any factors negatively affecting us during the last half of the year, including unfavorable economic conditions, adverse weather or our ability to acquire seasonal merchandise inventory, could have a material adverse effect on our financial condition and results of operations for the entire year.  Our quarterly results of operations may also fluctuate based upon such factors as the timing of certain holiday seasons, the popularity of seasonal merchandise offered, the timing and amount of markdowns, competitive influences and the number and timing of new store openings, remodels and closings.

Trademarks

The “Zumiez”, “Blue Tomato” and “Fast Times” trademarks and certain other trademarks, have been registered, or are the subject of pending trademark applications, with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office and with the registries of certain foreign countries.  We regard our trademarks as valuable and intend to maintain such marks and any related registrations and vigorously protect our trademarks.  We also own numerous domain names, which have been registered with the Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers.

9


Employees

At January 30, 2021, we employed approximately 2,300 full-time and approximately 6,500 part-time employees globally.  However, the number of part-time employees fluctuates depending on our seasonal needs and generally increases during peak selling seasons, particularly the back-to-school and the winter holiday seasons.  None of our employees are represented by a labor union and we believe that our relationship with our employees is positive.

We believe in delivering quality employment experiences at all levels within the Company.  In that regard, every year we create thousands of career opportunities in our stores for individuals who are just beginning their professional careers and who are driven to develop new skills in an environment centered around teaching and learning. Many of these opportunities are provided to our part-time sales associates, who on average are approximately 19 years of age, and are often furthering their career through concurrent education and/or additional employment opportunities.

The Zumiez culture is built on a set of shared values that have been in place since the inception of the business. These shared values include empowered managers, teaching and learning, competition, and fairness and honesty.  Our culture strives to integrate quality teaching and learning experiences throughout the organization. We do this through a comprehensive training program, which primarily focuses on sales and customer service training. Our training programs have been developed internally and are almost exclusively taught internally by Zumiez employees to Zumiez employees. The training programs have been developed to empower our managers to make good retail decisions.

We believe Zumiez is a place where people have a voice, will be heard, and have bias-free opportunities.  Accordingly, our work place is built upon the foundation of equity and inclusion where its people are diverse in their backgrounds, communities, and points of view, yet all share the same core cultural values of working hard, giving back and empowering others.  In this regard, the Company aims to be an inclusive reflection of its customers, employees, and business partners.  Pay equity, employees being paid equally for equal work, without regard for race or gender, is a base line component of this focus on equity and inclusion.   

Financial Information about Segments

See Note 18, “Segment Reporting,” in the Notes to Consolidated Financial Statements found in Part IV Item 15 of this Form 10-K, for information regarding our segments, product categories and certain geographical information.

Available Information

Our principal website address is www.zumiez.com.  We make available, free of charge, our proxy statement, annual report to shareholders, annual report on Form 10-K, quarterly reports on Form 10-Q, current reports on Form 8-K and all amendments to those reports as soon as reasonably practicable after such material is electronically filed with or furnished to the Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) at http://ir.zumiez.com.  Information available on our website is not incorporated by reference in, and is not deemed a part of, this Form 10-K.  The SEC maintains a website that contains electronic filings by Zumiez and other issuers at www.sec.gov. In addition, the public may read and copy any materials Zumiez files with the SEC at the SEC’s Public Reference Room at 100 F Street, N.E., Washington, D.C. 20549. The public may obtain information on the operation of the Public Reference Room by calling the SEC at 1-800-SEC-0330.

 

10


 

Item 1A.

RISK FACTORS

Investing in our securities involves a high degree of risk.  The following risk factors, issues and uncertainties should be considered in evaluating our future prospects.  In particular, keep these risk factors in mind when you read “forward-looking” statements elsewhere in this report.  Forward-looking statements relate to our expectations for future events and time periods.  Generally, the words “anticipates,” “expects,” “intends,” “may,” “should,” “plans,” “believes,” “predicts,” “potential,” “continue” and similar expressions identify forward-looking statements.  Forward-looking statements involve risks and uncertainties, and future events and circumstances could differ significantly from those anticipated in the forward-looking statements.  Any of the following risks could harm our business, operating results or financial condition and could result in a complete loss of your investment.

The novel coronavirus (COVID-19) global pandemic could continue to have a material impact on our business.

Since being declared a pandemic by the World Health Organization in March 2020, COVID-19 has negatively impacted global economies, disrupted consumer spending and global supply chains, and created significant volatility and disruption of financial markets. The COVID-19 global pandemic could continue to have a material impact on our business, including our results of operations, financial condition and liquidity. The duration and severity of the COVID-19 pandemic will determine its ongoing impact on our business, including our ability to execute business strategies and initiatives in their expected time frame, the effect on our suppliers and disruptions to the global supply chain, and the ability of our customers to pay for our services and products.

A resurgence in the spread of COVID-19, or its variants, could force the closure of our retail stores globally, as we saw in the first quarter of 2020. We could also experience store closures on a regional basis, like we have seen in California beginning at the end of the second quarter of 2020. We may face long term store closure requirements and other operational restrictions with respect to some or all of our physical locations for prolonged periods of time due to, among other factors, evolving and increasingly stringent governmental restrictions, public health directives, quarantine policies, or social distancing measures, resulting in a materially adverse impact to our financial results.

With store closures withstanding, consumer fears about becoming ill with the virus may persist, adversely affecting traffic to our stores. Consumer spending may also be negatively impacted by general economic downturn and decreased consumer confidence resulting from the COVID-19 global pandemic. This may negatively impact sales in our stores and our ecommerce channel. The potential reduction in consumer visits to our stores, caused by COVID-19, and any decreased spending at retail stores or online caused by a lack of consumer confidence and spending following the pandemic, could result in a loss of sales and profits.

A rise in the spread of COVID-19 also has the potential to significantly impact our supply chain if manufacturers of our products, distribution centers where we manage our inventory, or operations of our logistics and other service providers are disrupted, temporarily closed or experience worker shortages.

Due to the seasonality of our business, widespread closures during peak shopping periods could disproportionally impact financial results. The inability to effectively adapt to changes in consumer behavior could result in excess inventory and adversely impact financial results. We may experience adverse effects of prolonged operating restrictions related to in-person marketing and training events.

The COVID-19 pandemic’s impact on macroeconomic conditions could alter the functioning of financial and capital markets, foreign currency exchange rates, commodity prices, and interest rates. After the COVID-19 global pandemic has settled, we may continue to experience adverse impacts to our business as a result of any economic recession that has occurred or may occur in the future.

The extent of the impact of the COVID-19 global pandemic on our business remains uncertain and difficult to predict, given the innumerable unknowns regarding the duration and severity of the pandemic.

 

11


 

Failure to anticipate, identify and respond to changing fashion trends, customer preferences and other fashion-related factors could have a material adverse effect on us.

Customer tastes and fashion trends in our market are volatile and tend to change rapidly.  Our success depends on our ability to effectively anticipate, identify and respond to changing fashion tastes and consumer preferences, and to translate market trends into appropriate, saleable product offerings in a timely manner.  If we are unable to successfully anticipate, identify or respond to changing styles or trends and misjudge the market for our products or any new product lines, including adequately anticipating the correct mix and trends of our private label merchandise, our sales may be lower than predicted and we may be faced with a substantial amount of unsold inventory or missed opportunities.  In response to such a situation, we may be forced to rely on markdowns or promotional sales to dispose of excess or slow-moving inventory, which could have a material adverse effect on our results of operations.

We may be unable to compete favorably in the highly competitive retail industry, and if we lose customers to our competitors, our sales could decrease.

The teenage and young adult retail apparel, footwear, accessories and hardgoods industry is highly competitive.  We compete with other retailers for vendors, teenage and young adult customers, suitable store locations, qualified store associates, management personnel, online marketing content, social media engagement and ecommerce traffic.  Some of our competitors are larger than we are and have substantially greater financial and marketing resources, including advanced ecommerce market capabilities.  Additionally, some of our competitors may offer more options for free and/or expedited shipping for ecommerce sales.  Direct competition with these and other retailers may increase significantly in the future, which could require us, among other things, to lower our prices and could result in the loss of our customers.  Current and increased competition could have a material adverse effect on our business, results of operations and financial condition.

U.S. and global economic and political uncertainty, coupled with cyclical economic trends in retailing, could have a material adverse effect on our results of operations.

Our retail market historically has been subject to substantial cyclicality.  As the U.S. and global economic and political conditions change, the trends in discretionary consumer spending become unpredictable and discretionary consumer spending could be reduced due to uncertainties about the future.  When disposable income decreases or discretionary consumer spending is reduced due to a decline in consumer confidence, purchases of apparel and related products may decline.  Uncertainty in the U.S. and global economies and political environment could have a material adverse impact on our results of operations and financial position.

In response to a decline in disposable income and consumer confidence, we believe the “value” message has become more important to consumers.  As a retailer that sells approximately 85% branded merchandise, this trend may negatively affect our business, as we generally will have to charge more than vertically integrated private label retailers or we may be forced to rely on promotional sales to compete in our market which could have a material adverse effect on our financial position.

Most of our merchandise is produced by foreign manufacturers; therefore, the availability, quality and costs of our merchandise may be negatively affected by risks associated with international trade and other international conditions.

Most of our merchandise is produced by manufacturers around the world. Some of these facilities are located in regions that may be affected by natural disasters, public health concerns, or emergencies, such as COVID-19 and other communicable diseases or viruses, political instability or other conditions that could cause a disruption in trade. Trade restrictions such as increased tariffs or quotas, or both, could also increase the cost and reduce the supply of merchandise available to us. Any reduction in merchandise available to us or any increase in its cost due to tariffs, quotas or local issues that disrupt trade could have a material adverse effect on our results of operations.  This includes costs to comply with regulatory developments regarding the use of “conflict minerals,” certain minerals originating from the Democratic Republic of Congo and adjoining countries, which may affect the sourcing and availability of raw materials used by manufacturers and subject us to increased costs associated with our products, processes or sources of our inputs.  Our business could be adversely affected by disruptions in the supply chain, such as strikes, work stoppages, or port closures.  

12


A decrease in consumer traffic could cause our sales to be less than expected.

We depend heavily on generating customer traffic to our stores and websites.  This includes locating many of our stores in prominent locations within successful shopping malls.  Sales at these stores are derived, in part, from the volume of traffic in those malls.  Our stores benefit from the ability of a mall’s “anchor” tenants, generally large department stores and other area attractions, to generate consumer traffic in the vicinity of our stores and the continuing popularity of malls as shopping destinations.  In addition, some malls that were in prominent locations when we opened our stores may cease to be viewed as prominent.  If this trend continues or if the popularity of mall shopping continues to decline generally among our customers, our sales may decline, which would impact our results of operations.  Additionally, we may experience other risks associated with operating leases, such as lease termination or impairment of operating lease right-of-use assets. These risks may include circumstances that are not within our control, such as changes in fair market rent. Furthermore, we depend on generating increased traffic to our ecommerce business and converting that traffic into sales. This requires us to achieve expected results from our marketing and social media campaigns, accuracy of data analytics, reliability of our website, network, and transaction processing and a high-quality online customer experience. Our sales volume and customer traffic in our stores and on our websites generally could be adversely affected by, among other things, economic downturns, competition from other ecommerce retailers, non-mall retailers and other malls, increases in gasoline prices, fluctuations in exchange rates in border or tourism-oriented locations and the closing or decline in popularity of other stores in the malls in which we are located. Also, geopolitical events, including the threat of terrorism, or widespread health emergencies, such as COVID-19 and other communicable diseases, viruses, or pandemics, could cause people to avoid our stores in shopping malls and alter consumer trends. An uncertain economic outlook or continued bankruptcies of mall-based retailers could curtail new shopping mall development, decrease shopping mall and ecommerce traffic, reduce the number of hours that shopping mall operators keep their shopping malls open or force them to cease operations entirely.  A reduction in consumer traffic to our stores or websites could have a material adverse effect on our business, results of operations and financial condition.

Our growth strategy depends on our ability to grow customer engagement in our current markets and expand into new markets, which could strain our resources and cause the performance of our existing business to suffer.

Our growth largely depends on our ability to optimize our customer engagement in our current trade areas and operate successfully in new geographic markets.  However, our ability to open stores in new geographic markets, including international locations, is subject to a variety of risks and uncertainties, and we may be unable to open new stores as planned or have access to desirable lease space, and any failure to successfully open and operate in new markets could have a material adverse effect on our results of operations.  We intend to continue to open new stores in future years, while remodeling a portion of our existing store base such that we have the optimum number of stores in any given trade area.  The expansion into new markets may present competitive, merchandising, hiring and distribution challenges that are different from those currently encountered in our existing markets.  In addition, our proposed expansion will place increased demands on our operational, managerial and administrative resources.  These increased demands could cause us to operate our business less effectively, which in turn could cause deterioration in the financial performance of our individual stores and our overall business.  In addition, successful execution of our growth strategy may require that we obtain additional financing, and we may not be able to obtain that financing on acceptable terms or at all.

Failure to successfully integrate any businesses that we acquire could have an adverse impact on our results of operations and financial performance.

We may, from time to time, acquire businesses, such as our acquisition of Blue Tomato and Fast Times.  We may experience difficulties in integrating any businesses we may acquire, including their stores, websites, facilities, personnel, financial systems, distribution, operations and general operating procedures, and any such acquisitions may also result in the diversion of our capital and our management’s attention from other business issues and opportunities.  If we experience difficulties in integrating acquisitions or if such acquisitions do not provide the benefits that we expect to receive, we could experience increased costs and other operating inefficiencies, which could have an adverse effect on our results of operations and overall financial performance.

13


Our plans for international expansion include risks that could have a negative impact on our results of operations.

We plan to continue to open new stores in the Canadian, European and Australian markets. We may continue to expand internationally into other markets, either organically or through additional acquisitions.  International markets may have different competitive conditions, consumer tastes and discretionary spending patterns than our existing U.S. market.  As a result, operations in international markets may be less successful than our operations in the U.S.  Additionally, consumers in international markets may not be familiar with us or the brands we sell, and we may need to build brand awareness in the markets.  Furthermore, we have limited experience with the legal and regulatory environments and market practices in new international markets and cannot guarantee that we will be able to penetrate or successfully operate in these new international markets.  We also expect to incur additional costs in complying with applicable foreign laws and regulations as they pertain to both our products and our operations.  Accordingly, for the reasons noted above, our plans for international expansion include risks that could have a negative impact on our results of operations.

Our sales and inventory levels fluctuate on a seasonal basis.  Accordingly, our quarterly results of operations are volatile and may fluctuate significantly.

Our quarterly results of operations have fluctuated significantly in the past and can be expected to continue to fluctuate significantly in the future.  Our sales and profitability are typically disproportionately higher in the third and fourth fiscal quarters of each fiscal year due to increased sales during the back-to-school and winter holiday shopping seasons.  Sales during these periods cannot be used as an accurate indicator of annual results.  As a result of this seasonality, any factors negatively affecting us during the last half of the year, including unfavorable economic conditions, adverse weather or our ability to acquire seasonal merchandise inventory, could have a material adverse effect on our financial condition and results of operations for the entire year. In addition, in order to prepare for the back-to-school and winter holiday shopping seasons, we must order and keep in stock significantly more merchandise than we carry during other times of the year.  Any unanticipated decrease in demand for our products during these peak shopping seasons could require us to sell excess inventory at a substantial markdown, which could have a material adverse effect on our business, results of operations and financial condition.

Our quarterly results of operations are affected by a variety of other factors, including:

 

the timing of new store openings and the relative proportion of our new stores to mature stores;

 

whether we are able to successfully integrate any new stores that we acquire and the presence of any unanticipated liabilities in connection therewith;        

 

fashion trends and changes in consumer preferences;

 

calendar shifts of holiday or seasonal periods;

 

changes in our merchandise mix;

 

timing of promotional events;

 

general economic conditions and, in particular, the retail sales environment;

 

actions by competitors or mall anchor tenants;

 

weather conditions;

 

the level of pre-opening expenses associated with our new stores; and

 

inventory shrinkage beyond our historical average rates.

14


 

If our information systems fail to function effectively, or do not scale to keep pace with our planned growth, our operations could be disrupted and our financial results could be harmed.

If our information systems, including hardware and software, do not work effectively, this could adversely impact the promptness and accuracy of our transaction processing, financial accounting and reporting and our ability to manage our business and properly forecast operating results and cash requirements.  Additionally, we rely on third-party service providers for certain information systems functions.  If a service provider fails to provide the data quality, communications capacity or services we require, the failure could interrupt our services and could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition and results of operations.  To manage the anticipated growth of our operations and personnel, we may need to continue to improve our operational and financial systems, transaction processing, procedures and controls, and in doing so could incur substantial additional expenses that could impact our financial results.

If we fail to meet the requirements to adequately maintain the privacy and security of personal data and business information, we may be subjected to adverse publicity, litigation and significant expenses.

Information systems are susceptible to an increasing threat of continually evolving cybersecurity risks. If we fail to maintain or adequately maintain security systems, devices and activity monitoring to prevent unauthorized access to our network, systems and databases containing confidential, proprietary and personally identifiable information, we may be subject to additional risk of adverse publicity, litigation or significant expense. Nevertheless, if unauthorized parties gain access to our networks, systems or databases, they may be able to steal, publish, delete or modify confidential information.  In such circumstances, we could be held liable to our customers or other parties or be subject to regulatory or other actions for breaching privacy rules and we may be exposed to reputation damage and loss of customers’ trust and business.  This could result in costly investigations and litigation, civil or criminal penalties and adverse publicity that could adversely affect our financial condition, results of operations and reputation.  Actual or anticipated attacks may cause us to incur increasing costs, including costs to deploy additional resources, train employees and engage third-parties. Further, the regulatory environment surrounding information security, cybersecurity and privacy is increasingly demanding. If we are unable to comply with the new and changing security standards, we may be subject to fines, restrictions and financial exposure, which could adversely affect our retail operations.

Significant fluctuations and volatility in the cost of raw materials, global labor, shipping and other costs related to the production of our merchandise may have a material adverse effect on our business, results of operations and financial conditions.

Increases in the cost of raw materials, global labor costs, freight costs and other shipping costs in the production and transportation of our merchandise can result in higher costs for this merchandise.  The costs for these products are affected by weather, consumer demand, government regulation, speculation on the commodities market and other factors that are generally unpredictable and beyond our control.  Our gross profit and results of operations could be adversely affected to the extent that the selling prices of our products do not increase proportionately with the increases in the costs of raw materials.  Increasing labor costs and oil-related product costs, such as manufacturing and transportation costs, could also adversely impact gross profit.  Additionally, significant changes in the relationship between carrier capacity and shipper demand could increase transportation costs, which could also adversely impact gross profit.  

Fluctuations in foreign currency exchange rates could impact our financial condition and results of operations.

We are exposed to foreign currency exchange rate risk with respect to our sales, profits, assets and liabilities denominated in currencies other than the U.S. dollar.  As a result, the fluctuation in the value of the U.S. dollar against other currencies could have a material adverse effect on our results of operations, financial condition and cash flows.  Upon translation, operating results may differ materially from expectations.  As we continue to expand our international operations, our exposure to exchange rate fluctuations will increase.  Tourism spending may be affected by changes in currency exchange rates, and as a result, sales at stores with higher tourism traffic may be adversely impacted by fluctuations in currency exchange rates.  Further, although the prices charged by vendors for the merchandise we purchase are primarily denominated in U.S. dollars, a decline in the relative value of the U.S. dollar to foreign currencies could lead to increased merchandise costs, which could negatively affect our competitive position and our results of operations.  

15


Our business could be adversely affected by increased labor costs, including costs related to an increase in minimum wage and health care.

Labor is one of the primary components in the cost of operating our business.  Increased labor costs, whether due to competition, unionization, increased minimum wage, state unemployment rates, health care, mandated safety protocols, or other employee benefits costs may adversely impact our operating profit.  A considerable amount of our store team members are paid at rates related to the federal or state minimum wage and any changes to the minimum wage rate may increase our operating expenses.  Furthermore, inconsistent increases in state and or city minimum wage requirements limit our ability to increase prices across all markets and channels.  Additionally, we are self-insured with respect to our health care coverage in the U.S. and do not purchase third party insurance for the health insurance benefits provided to employees with the exception of pre-defined stop loss coverage, which helps limit the cost of large claims.  There is no assurance that future health care legislation will not adversely impact our results or operations.  

Our business could suffer if a manufacturer fails to use acceptable labor and environmental practices.

We do not control our vendors or the manufacturers that produce the products we buy from them, nor do we control the labor and environmental practices of our vendors and these manufacturers.  The violation of labor, safety, environmental and/or other laws and standards by any of our vendors or these manufacturers, or the divergence of the labor and environmental practices followed by any of our vendors or these manufacturers from those generally accepted as ethical in the U.S., could interrupt, or otherwise disrupt, the shipment of finished products to us or damage our reputation.  Any of these, in turn, could have a material adverse effect on our reputation, financial condition and results of operations.  In that regard, most of the products we sell are manufactured internationally, primarily in Asia, Mexico and Central America, which may increase the risk that the labor and environmental practices followed by the manufacturers of these products may differ from those considered acceptable in the U.S.

Additionally, our products are subject to regulation of and regulatory standards set by various governmental authorities with respect to quality and safety.  These regulations and standards may change from time to time.  Our inability to comply on a timely basis with regulatory requirements could result in significant fines or penalties, which could adversely affect our reputation and sales.  Issues with the quality and safety of merchandise we sell, regardless of our culpability, or customer concerns about such issues, could result in damage to our reputation, lost sales, uninsured product liability claims or losses, merchandise recalls and increased costs.

If we fail to develop and maintain good relationships with vendors, or if a vendor is otherwise unable or unwilling to supply us with adequate quantities of their products at acceptable prices, our business and financial performance could suffer.

Our business is dependent on developing and maintaining good relationships with a large number of vendors to provide our customers with an extensive selection of current and relevant brands.  In addition to maintaining our large number of current vendor relationships, each year we are identifying, attracting and launching new vendors to provide a diverse and unique product assortment.  We believe that we generally are able to obtain attractive pricing and terms from vendors because we are perceived as a desirable customer, and deterioration in our relationship with our vendors could have a material adverse effect on our business.  

However, there can be no assurance that our current vendors or new vendors will provide us with an adequate supply or quality of products or acceptable pricing.  Our vendors could discontinue selling to us, raise the prices they charge, sell through direct channels or allow their merchandise to be discounted by other retailers.  There can be no assurance that we will be able to acquire desired merchandise in sufficient quantities on terms acceptable to us in the future.  In addition, certain vendors sell their products directly to the retail market and therefore compete with us directly and other vendors may decide to do so in the future.  There can be no assurance that such vendors will not decide to discontinue supplying their products to us, supply us only less popular or lower quality items, raise the prices they charge us or focus on selling their products directly.  

16


In addition, a number of our vendors are smaller, less capitalized companies and are more likely to be impacted by unfavorable general economic and market conditions than larger and better capitalized companies.  These smaller vendors may not have sufficient liquidity during economic downturns to properly fund their businesses and their ability to supply their products to us could be negatively impacted.  Any inability to acquire suitable merchandise at acceptable prices, or the loss of one or more key vendors, could have a material adverse effect on our business, results of operations and financial condition.

Our business is susceptible to weather conditions that are out of our control, including the potential risks of unpredictable weather patterns and any weather patterns associated with naturally occurring global climate change, and the resultant unseasonable weather could have a negative impact on our results of operations.

Our business is susceptible to unseasonable weather conditions.  For example, extended periods of unseasonably warm temperatures during the winter season or cool weather during the summer season (including any weather patterns associated with global warming and cooling) could render a portion of our inventory incompatible with those unseasonable conditions.  These prolonged unseasonable weather conditions could have a material adverse effect on our business and results of operations.

Our omni-channel strategy may not have the return we anticipate, which could have an adverse effect on our results of operations.

We are executing an omni-channel strategy to enable our customers to shop wherever, whenever and however they choose to engage with us.  Our omni-channel strategy may not deliver the results we anticipate or may not adequately anticipate changing consumer trends, preferences and expectations.  We will continue to develop additional ways to execute our superior omni-channel experience and interact with our customers, which requires significant investments in IT systems and changes in operational strategy, including localization, online and in-store point of sale systems, order management system, and transportation management system.  If we fail to effectively integrate our store and ecommerce shopping experiences, effectively scale our IT structure or we do not realize the return on our investments that we anticipate our operating results could be adversely affected.  Our competitors are also investing in omni-channel initiatives.  If our competitors are able to be more effective in their strategy, it could have an adverse effect on our results of operations.  If we our omni-channel strategy fails to meet customer expectations related to functionality, timely delivery, or customer experience, our business and results of operations may be adversely affected. Additionally, to manage the anticipated growth of our operations and personnel, we will need to continue to improve our operational and financial systems, transaction processing, procedures and controls, and in doing so could incur substantial additional expenses that could impact our financial results.  

If we lose key executives or are unable to attract and retain the talent required for our business, our financial performance could suffer.

Our performance depends largely on the efforts and abilities of our key executives.  If we lose the services of one or more of our key executives, we may not be able to successfully manage our business or achieve our growth objectives.  Furthermore, as our business grows, we will need to attract and retain additional qualified personnel in a timely manner and we may not be able to do so.

Failure to meet our staffing needs could adversely affect our ability to implement our growth strategy and could have a material impact on our results of operations.

Our success depends in part upon our ability to attract, motivate and retain a sufficient number of qualified employees who understand and appreciate our culture and brand and are able to adequately represent this culture.  Qualified individuals of the requisite caliber, skills and number needed to fill these positions may be in short supply in some areas and the employee turnover rate in the retail industry is high.  Our business depends on the ability to hire and retain qualified technical and support roles for procurement, distribution, ecommerce and back office functions.  Competition for qualified employees in these areas could require us to pay higher wages to attract a sufficient number of suitable employees.  

17


If we are unable to hire and retain store managers and store associates capable of consistently providing a high level of customer service, as demonstrated by their enthusiasm for our culture and knowledge of our merchandise, our ability to open new stores may be impaired and the performance of our existing and new stores could be materially adversely affected.  We are also dependent upon temporary personnel to adequately staff our operations particularly during busy periods such as the back-to-school and winter holiday seasons.  There can be no assurance that we will receive adequate assistance from our temporary personnel, or that there will be sufficient sources of temporary personnel. If we are unable to hire qualified temporary personnel, our results of operations could be adversely impacted.  

Although none of our employees are currently covered by collective bargaining agreements, we cannot guarantee that our employees will not elect to be represented by labor unions in the future, which could increase our labor costs and could subject us to the risk of work stoppages and strikes.  Any such failure to meet our staffing needs, any material increases in employee turnover rates, any increases in labor costs or any work stoppages, interruptions or strikes could have a material adverse effect on our business or results of operations.

A decline in cash flows from operations could have a material adverse effect on our business and growth plans.

We depend on cash flow from operations to fund our current operations and our growth strategy, including the payment of our operating leases, wages, store operation costs and other cash needs.  If our business does not generate sufficient cash flow from operating activities, and sufficient funds are not otherwise available to us from borrowings under our credit facility or from other sources, we may not be able to pay our operating lease expenses, grow our business, respond to competitive challenges or fund our other liquidity and capital needs, which could have a material adverse effect on our business.

The terms of our secured credit agreement impose certain restrictions on us that may impair our ability to respond to changing business and economic conditions, which could have a significant adverse impact on our business.  Additionally, our business could suffer if our ability to acquire financing is reduced or eliminated.

We maintain a secured credit agreement with Wells Fargo Bank, N.A., which provided us with a senior secured credit facility (“credit facility”) of up to $35.0 million.  The credit facility contains various representations, warranties and restrictive covenants that, among other things and subject to specified circumstances and exceptions, restrict our ability to incur indebtedness (including guarantees), grant liens, make investments, pay dividends or distributions with respect to capital stock, make prepayments on other indebtedness, engage in mergers, dispose of certain assets or change the nature of their business.  The credit facility contains certain financial maintenance covenants that generally require us to have net income after taxes of at least $5.0 million on a trailing four-quarter basis and a quick ratio of 1.25:1.0 at the end of each fiscal quarter.  These restrictions could (1) limit our ability to plan for or react to market conditions or meet capital needs or otherwise restrict our activities or business plans; and (2) adversely affect our ability to finance our operations, strategic acquisitions, investments or other capital needs or to engage in other business activities that would be in our interest.

The credit facility contains certain affirmative covenants, including reporting requirements such as delivery of financial statements, certificates and notices of certain events, maintaining insurance, and providing additional guarantees and collateral in certain circumstances.  The credit facility includes customary events of default including non-payment of principal, interest or fees, violation of covenants, inaccuracy of representations or warranties, cross-default to other material indebtedness, bankruptcy and insolvency events, invalidity or impairment of guarantees or security interests, material judgments and change of control.  Additionally, we cannot be assured that our borrowing relationship with our lenders will continue or that our lenders will remain able to support their commitments to us in the future.  If our lenders fail to do so, then we may not be able to secure alternative financing on commercially reasonable terms, or at all.

18


Our business could suffer with the closure or disruption of our home office or our distribution centers.

In the U.S., we rely on a single distribution center located in Corona, California to receive, store and distribute the vast majority of our merchandise to our domestic stores.  Internationally, we operate a combined distribution and ecommerce fulfillment center located in Graz, Austria that supports our Blue Tomato ecommerce and store operations in Europe.  We operate a distribution center located in Delta, British Columbia, Canada to distribute our merchandise to our Canadian stores. We operate a distribution and ecommerce fulfillment center located in Melbourne, Australia to distribute our merchandise to our Australian stores.  Additionally, we are headquartered in Lynnwood, Washington.  As a result, unforeseen events, including war, terrorism, other political instability or conflicts, riots, public health issues (including widespread/pandemic illnesses such as coronavirus and other communicable diseases or viruses), a natural disaster or other catastrophic event that affects one of the regions where we operate these centers or our home office could significantly disrupt our operations and have a material adverse effect on our business, results of operations and financial condition.

The effects of war, acts of terrorism, threat of terrorism, or other types of mall violence, could adversely affect our business.

Most of our stores are located in shopping malls.  Any threat of terrorist attacks or actual terrorist events, or other types of mall violence, such as shootings or riots, could lead to lower consumer traffic in shopping malls.  In addition, local authorities or mall management could close shopping malls in response to security concerns.  Mall closures, as well as lower consumer traffic due to security concerns, could result in decreased sales.  Additionally, the threat, escalation or commencement of war or other armed conflict elsewhere, could significantly diminish consumer spending, and result in decreased sales.  Decreased sales could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition and results of operations.

Our inability or failure to protect our intellectual property or our infringement of other’s intellectual property could have a negative impact on our operating results.

We believe that our trademarks and domain names are valuable assets that are critical to our success.  The unauthorized use or other misappropriation of our trademarks or domain names could diminish the value of the Zumiez, Blue Tomato, or Fast Times brands, our store concepts, our private label brands or our goodwill and cause a decline in our net sales.  Although we have secured or are in the process of securing protection for our trademarks and domain names in a number of countries outside of the U.S., there are certain countries where we do not currently have or where we do not currently intend to apply for protection for certain trademarks.  Also, the efforts we have taken to protect our trademarks may not be sufficient or effective.  Therefore, we may not be able to prevent other persons from using our trademarks or domain names outside of the U.S., which also could adversely affect our business.  We are also subject to the risk that we may infringe on the intellectual property rights of third parties.  Any infringement or other intellectual property claim made against us, whether or not it has merit, could be time-consuming, result in costly litigation, cause product delays or require us to pay royalties or license fees.  As a result, any such claim could have a material adverse effect on our operating results.

Our operations expose us to the risk of litigation, which could lead to significant potential liability and costs that could harm our business, financial condition or results of operations.  

We employ a substantial number of full-time and part-time employees, a majority of whom are employed at our store locations.  As a result, we are subject to a large number of federal, state and foreign laws and regulations relating to employment.  This creates a risk of potential claims that we have violated laws related to discrimination and harassment, health and safety, wage and hour laws, criminal activity, personal injury and other claims.  We are also subject to other types of claims in the ordinary course of our business.  Some or all of these claims may give rise to litigation, which could be time-consuming for our management team, costly and harmful to our business.

In addition, we are exposed to the risk of class action litigation.  The costs of defense and the risk of loss in connection with class action suits are greater than in single-party litigation claims.  Due to the costs of defending against such litigation, the size of judgments that may be awarded against us, and the loss of significant management time devoted to such litigation, we cannot provide assurance that such litigation will not disrupt our business or impact our financial results.

19


We are involved, from time to time, in litigation incidental to our business including complaints filed by investors.  This litigation could result in substantial costs, and could divert management's attention and resources, which could harm our business.  Risks associated with legal liability are often difficult to assess or quantify, and their existence and magnitude can remain unknown for significant periods of time.  

Failure to comply with federal, state, local or foreign laws and regulations, or changes in these laws and regulations, could have an adverse impact on our results of operations and financial performance.

Our business is subject to a wide array of laws and regulations including those related to employment, trade, consumer protection, transportation, occupancy laws, health care, wage laws, employee health and safety, taxes, privacy, health information privacy, identify theft, customs, truth-in-advertising, securities laws, unsolicited commercial communication and environmental issues.  Our policies, procedures and internal controls are designed to comply with foreign and domestic laws and regulations, such as those required by the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002 and the U.S. Foreign Corrupt Practices Act.  Although we have policies and procedures aimed at ensuring legal and regulatory compliance, our employees or vendors could take actions that violate these laws and regulations. Any violations of such laws or regulations could have an adverse effect on our reputation, results of operations, financial condition and cash flows.  Furthermore, changes in the regulations, the imposition of additional regulations, or the enactment of any new legislation, particularly in the U.S. and Europe, could adversely affect our results of operations or financial condition.

Fluctuations in our tax obligations and effective tax rate may result in volatility in our operating results.

We are subject to income taxes in many domestic and foreign jurisdictions. In addition, our products are subject to import and excise duties and/or sales, consumption or value-added taxes in many jurisdictions. We record tax expense based on our estimates of future payments, which include reserves for estimates of probable settlements of domestic and foreign tax audits. At any one time, many tax years are subject to audit by various taxing jurisdictions. There can be no assurance as to the outcome of these audits which may have an adverse effect to our business. In addition, our effective tax rate may be materially impacted by changes in tax rates and duties, the mix and level of earnings or losses by taxing jurisdictions, or by changes to existing accounting rules or regulations. Changes to foreign or domestic tax laws could have a material impact on our financial condition, results of operations or cash flows.

We may fail to meet analyst expectations, which could cause the price of our stock to decline.

Our common stock is traded publicly and various securities analysts follow our financial results and issue reports on us.  These reports include information about our historical financial results as well as the analysts' estimates of our future performance.  The analysts' estimates are based upon their own independent opinions and can be different from our estimates or expectations.  If our operating results are below the estimates or expectations of public market analysts and investors, our stock price could decline.  

The reduction of total outstanding shares through the execution of a share repurchase program of common stock may increase the risk that a group of shareholders could form a group to become a controlling shareholder.  

A share repurchase program may be conducted from time to time under authorization made by our Board of Directors.  We do not have a controlling shareholder, nor are we aware of any shareholders that have formed a “group” (defined as when two or more persons agree to act together for the purposes of acquiring, holding, voting or otherwise disposing of the equity securities of an issuer).  The reduction of total outstanding shares through the execution of a share repurchase program of common stock may increase the risk that a group of shareholders could form a group to become a controlling shareholder.  

A controlling shareholder would have significant influence over, and may have the ability to control, matters requiring approval by our shareholders, including the election of directors and approval of mergers, consolidations, sales of assets, recapitalizations and amendments to our articles of incorporation.  Furthermore, a controlling shareholder may take actions with which other shareholders do not agree, including actions that delay, defer or prevent a change of control of the company and that could cause the price that investors are willing to pay for the company’s stock to decline. 

20


Item 1B.

UNRESOLVED STAFF COMMENTS

None.

Item 2.

PROPERTIES

All of our stores are occupied under operating leases and encompassed approximately 2.1 million total square feet at January 30, 2021.

We own approximately 356,000 square feet of land in Lynnwood, Washington on which we own a 63,071 square foot home office. Additionally, we lease 14,208 square feet of office space in Schladming, Austria for our European home office.

We own a 168,450 square foot building in Corona, California that serves as our domestic warehouse and distribution center.

We lease 17,168 square feet of a distribution facility in Delta, British Columbia, Canada that supports our store operations in Canada.  We lease a 112,112 square feet distribution and ecommerce fulfillment center in Graz, Austria that supports our Blue Tomato ecommerce and store operations in Europe.  We lease a 10,010 square feet distribution and ecommerce fulfillment center in Melbourne, Australia that supports our Fast Times ecommerce and store operations in Australia.  

Item 3.

We are involved from time to time in litigation incidental to our business.  We believe that the outcome of current litigation is not expected to have a material adverse effect on our results of operations or financial condition.

See Note 11, “Commitments and Contingencies,” in the Notes to Consolidated Financial Statements found in Part IV Item 15 of this Form 10-K, for additional information related to legal proceedings.

Item 4.

MINE SAFETY DISCLOSURES

Not applicable. 

21


PART II

Item 5.

MARKET FOR REGISTRANT’S COMMON EQUITY, RELATED STOCKHOLDER MATTERS AND ISSUER PURCHASES OF EQUITY SECURITIES

Market Information

Our common stock is traded on the Nasdaq Global Select Market under the symbol “ZUMZ.” At January 30, 2021, there were 25,599,296 shares of common stock outstanding. 

 

Performance Measurement Comparison

 

The following graph shows a comparison for total cumulative returns for Zumiez, the Nasdaq Composite Index and the Nasdaq Retail Trade Index during the period commencing on January 30, 2016 and ending on January 30, 2021.  The comparison assumes $100 was invested on January 30, 2016 in each of Zumiez, the Nasdaq Composite Index and the Nasdaq Retail Trade Index, and assumes the reinvestment of all dividends, if any.  The comparison in the following graph and table is required by the SEC and is not intended to be a forecast or to be indicative of future Company common stock performance.

 

 

 

 

1/30/16

 

1/28/17

 

2/3/18

 

2/2/19

 

2/1/20

1/30/21

 

    

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Zumiez

 

 

100.00

 

104.09

 

113.47

 

138.82

 

172.11

237.88

 

NASDAQ Composite

 

 

100.00

 

123.23

 

164.43

 

163.31

 

207.46

298.92

 

NASDAQ Retail Trade

 

 

100.00

 

122.34

 

183.73

 

203.67

 

234.29

377.44

 

 

22


 

Holders of the Company’s Capital Stock

We had approximately 11 shareholders of record as of March 8, 2021.

Dividends

No cash dividends have been declared on our common stock to date nor have any decisions been made to pay a dividend in the foreseeable future.  Payment of dividends is evaluated on a periodic basis.

Recent Sales of Unregistered Securities

None

Issuer Purchases of Equity Securities

The following table presents information of our common stock made during the thirteen weeks ended January 30, 2021 (in thousands, except average price paid per share):

 

Period

 

Total Number

of Shares

Purchased

 

 

Average Price

Paid per Share

 

 

Total Number of

Shares Purchased

as Part of Publicly

Announced Plans

or Programs (1)

 

 

Dollar Value of

Shares that May

Yet be Repurchased

Under the Plans

or Programs (1)

 

November 1, 2020—November 28, 2020

 

 

 

 

$

 

 

 

 

 

$

 

November 29, 2020—January 2, 2021 (2)

 

 

2

 

 

 

36.01

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

January 3, 2021—January 30, 2021

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Total

 

 

2

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

(1)

The share repurchase program is conducted under authorizations made from time to time by our Board of Directors.  In December 2020, our Board of Directors authorized us to repurchase up to $100.0 million of our common stock.  This program is expected to continue through January 29, 2022, unless the time period is extended or shortened by the Board of Directors.  At January 30, 2021, there remains $100.0 million available for share repurchase under the current share repurchase program.

(2)

During the thirteen weeks ended January 30, 2021, 1,703 shares were purchased by us in order to satisfy employee tax withholding obligations upon the vesting of restricted stock. These shares were not acquired pursuant to any publicly announced purchase plan or program.

23


Item 6.

SELECTED FINANCIAL DATA

The following selected consolidated financial information has been derived from our audited Consolidated Financial Statements.  The data should be read in conjunction with our Consolidated Financial Statements and the notes thereto, and Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations included elsewhere herein. 

 

 

 

Fiscal 2020 (1)

 

 

Fiscal 2019 (2)

 

 

Fiscal 2018 (3)

 

 

Fiscal 2017 (4)

 

 

Fiscal 2016 (5)

 

Statement of Operations Data

   (in thousands, except per share data):

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Net sales

 

$

990,652

 

 

$

1,034,129

 

 

$

978,617

 

 

$

927,401

 

 

$

836,268

 

Cost of goods sold

 

 

640,637

 

 

 

667,566

 

 

 

642,681

 

 

 

617,527

 

 

 

561,266

 

Gross profit

 

 

350,015

 

 

 

366,563

 

 

 

335,936

 

 

 

309,874

 

 

 

275,002

 

Selling, general and administrative

   expenses

 

 

253,077

 

 

 

280,756

 

 

 

274,858

 

 

 

261,114

 

 

 

235,259

 

Operating profit

 

 

96,938

 

 

 

85,807

 

 

 

61,078

 

 

 

48,760

 

 

 

39,743

 

Interest income, net

 

 

3,518

 

 

 

3,654

 

 

 

1,692

 

 

 

495

 

 

 

32

 

Other income (expense), net

 

 

2,001

 

 

 

1,532

 

 

 

(440

)

 

 

(852

)

 

 

449

 

Earnings before income taxes

 

 

102,457

 

 

 

90,993

 

 

 

62,330

 

 

 

48,403

 

 

 

40,224

 

Provision for income taxes

 

 

26,230

 

 

 

24,112

 

 

 

17,125

 

 

 

21,601

 

 

 

14,320

 

Net income

 

$

76,227

 

 

$

66,881

 

 

$

45,205

 

 

$

26,802

 

 

$

25,904

 

Earnings per share:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Basic

 

$

3.06

 

 

$

2.65

 

 

$

1.81

 

 

$

1.09

 

 

$

1.05

 

Diluted

 

$

3.00

 

 

$

2.62

 

 

$

1.79

 

 

$

1.08

 

 

$

1.04

 

Weighted average shares outstanding:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Basic

 

 

24,942

 

 

 

25,200

 

 

 

24,936

 

 

 

24,679

 

 

 

24,727

 

Diluted

 

 

25,398

 

 

 

25,535

 

 

 

25,212

 

 

 

24,878

 

 

 

24,908

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Balance Sheet Data (in thousands):

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Cash, cash equivalents and current

   marketable securities

 

$

375,542

 

 

$

251,196

 

 

$

165,334

 

 

$

121,905

 

 

$

78,826

 

Working capital

 

 

339,825

 

 

 

252,878

 

 

 

234,067

 

 

 

179,916

 

 

 

137,766

 

Total assets (6)

 

 

998,364

 

 

 

914,258

 

 

 

534,190

 

 

 

499,510

 

 

 

426,683

 

Total long-term liabilities

 

 

250,316

 

 

 

288,462

 

 

 

40,626

 

 

 

44,348

 

 

 

46,035

 

Total shareholders’ equity

 

 

552,596

 

 

 

466,086

 

 

 

400,456

 

 

 

355,915

 

 

 

307,051

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Other Financial Data (in thousands,

   except gross margin and operating

   margin):

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Gross profit

 

 

35.3

%

 

 

35.4

%

 

 

34.3

%

 

 

33.4

%

 

 

32.9

%

Operating margin

 

 

9.8

%

 

 

8.3

%

 

 

6.2

%

 

 

5.2

%

 

 

4.8

%

Capital expenditures

 

$

9,057

 

 

$

18,818

 

 

$

21,028

 

 

$

24,062

 

 

$

20,400

 

Depreciation, amortization and accretion

 

$

24,059

 

 

$

25,449

 

 

$

27,316

 

 

$

27,288

 

 

$

27,916

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Company Data:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Number of stores open at end of period

 

 

721

 

 

 

718

 

 

 

707

 

 

 

698

 

 

 

685

 

Comparable sales increase (decrease) (7)

 

 

13.6

%

 

 

4.9

%

 

 

5.6

%

 

 

5.9

%

 

(0.2%)

 

Net sales per store (8) (in thousands)

 

$

1,365

 

 

$

1,444

 

 

$

1,385

 

 

$

1,333

 

 

$

1,235

 

Total store square footage (9)

   (in thousands)

 

 

2,124

 

 

 

2,106

 

 

 

2,072

 

 

 

2,041

 

 

 

2,009

 

Average square footage per store (10)

 

 

2,946

 

 

 

2,934

 

 

 

2,931

 

 

 

2,924

 

 

 

2,932

 

Net sales per square foot (11)

 

$

465

 

 

$

492

 

 

$

474

 

 

$

456

 

 

$

420

 

24


 

 

(1)

Fiscal 2020 was a 52-week period. Included in the results for fiscal 2020 is the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, which included global store short-term closures beginning in March 2020 with gradual re-opening of retail stores beginning at the end of the first quarter, as well as lower operating costs, occupancy abatements and governmental credits. For the year, our stores were open approximately 78.4% of the possible days. This is defined as the number of days stores were open, inclusive of all stores across the global business, divided by the total available days open for all stores globally. Store are available for exclusion if they were closed for longer than seven days due to the impact of COVID-19.

(2)

Fiscal 2019 was a 52-week period. Included in the results for fiscal 2019 is $2.0 million in net sales related to the recognition of deferred revenue due to changes in our STASH loyalty program estimated redemption rate.

(3)

Fiscal 2018 was a 52-week period. Included in the results for fiscal 2018 is $8.7 million in benefit from the impact of U.S. federal tax legislation.

(4)

Fiscal 2017 was a 53-week period. All other fiscal year presented are 52-week periods. Included in the results for fiscal 2017 is $10.3 million of net sales related to the additional week in the 53-week fiscal year, $3.8 million in net sales related to the recognition of deferred revenue due to changes in our STASH loyalty program estimated redemption rate and $3.4 million in our provision for income taxes due to a valuation allowance against our deferred tax assets in Austria.

(5)

Fiscal 2016 was a 52-week period.

(6)

Included in the total assets for fiscal 2020 and 2019 include presentation in accordance with ASC 842, which requires the recognition of assets and liabilities arising from lease transactions on the balance sheet. Refer to the lease accounting policy at Note 2, “Summary of Significant Accounting Policies” in the Notes to Consolidated Financial Statements found in Part IV Item 15 of this Form 10-K.

(7)

See “Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations—General” for more information about how we compute comparable sales. Stores closed due to the impact of COVID-19 were excluded from the comparable sales calculation if they were closed for longer than seven days.

(8)

Net sales per store represents net sales, including ecommerce sales, for the period divided by the average number of stores open during the period.  For purposes of this calculation, the average number of stores open during the period is equal to the sum of the number of stores open as of the end of each month during the fiscal year divided by the number of months in the fiscal year. We believe this is an appropriate way to measure productivity as our stores and web work together to serve the customer.  

(9)

Total store square footage includes retail selling, storage and back office space at the end of the fiscal year.

(10)

Average square footage per store is calculated based on the total store square footage at the end of the fiscal year, including retail selling, storage and back office space, of all stores open at the end of the fiscal year.

(11)

Net sales per square foot represents net sales, including ecommerce sales, for the period divided by the average square footage of stores open during the period.  For purposes of this calculation, the average square footage of stores open during the period is equal to the sum of the total square footage of the stores open as of the end of each month during the fiscal year divided by the number of months in the fiscal year.

25


Item 7.

MANAGEMENT’S DISCUSSION AND ANALYSIS OF FINANCIAL CONDITION AND RESULTS OF OPERATIONS

The following discussion and analysis of our financial condition and results of operations should be read in conjunction with our consolidated financial statements and related notes included elsewhere in this document.  This discussion contains forward-looking statements that involve risks and uncertainties.  Our actual results could differ materially from those anticipated in these forward-looking statements as a result of certain factors, including those discussed in “Item 1A Risk Factors.”  See the cautionary note regarding forward-looking statements set forth at the beginning of Part I of the Annual Report on Form 10-K.

Fiscal 2020—A Review of This Past Year

Fiscal 2020 presented unprecedented challenges for retailers with significant impacts on customers and employees, long periods of store closures and operating restrictions related to the COVID-19 pandemic. Coming off of the strongest earnings in our history in fiscal 2019, we had positive momentum entering the first quarter of 2020.  In early March, however, we began to feel the impacts of COVID-19 which resulted in significantly reduced traffic and ultimately store closures across virtually all of the geographies in which we operate. During this time our focus remained centered on the customer with our teams working diligently to drive digital volume and maximize our localized fulfillment platform, while also working across the business to minimize expenses, preserve financial liquidity and maintain financial flexibility.  Actions taken included suspending hiring, laying off the majority of our part time staff, lowering operating costs including travel and other non-essential items, reducing capital spend by delaying projects, reducing planned inventory receipts, suspending rent payments, extending payment terms with our vendors and pausing our share repurchase program.  As we moved into the second quarter we started to open the majority of our stores and experienced higher than expected revenue driven by the efforts of our sales teams to connect with customers and take advantage of pent up demand from lockdowns.  We also benefited from a reduction in competition for discretionary spending given that many options, such as travel and entertainment, were unavailable or significantly restricted. Sales through the second quarter and ultimately back half of the year were in excess of expectations despite rolling store short-term closures, wide-spread operating restrictions, supply chain delays, a curtailed back to school as most students were attending virtually, capacity restrictions in peaks, lack of tourism and numerous other impacts to our business.

Overall, COVID-19 did have a meaningful, negative impact on the business as total sales were down 4.2% for the full year. All categories, other than hardgoods, were down in total sales.  Though total net sales were down for the year, operating margins increased 150 basis points from the fiscal 2019 on top of an improvement of 210 basis points in fiscal 2019.  These gains translated to $3.00 of diluted earnings per share, up from $2.62 in the prior year and represented the most profitable year in the history of our company. Overall fiscal 2020 earnings improvements were driven by significant gains in product margins, strong expense management, occupancy abatements and government credits primarily related to payroll that were able to offset the impacts of decreased sales.  We added 3 new stores in North America in fiscal 2020, down from 6 new stores added in fiscal 2019. During fiscal 2020, we also added 7 new Blue Tomato stores in Europe and 2 new Fast Times store in Australia and continue to have meaningful expansion opportunities in these areas.

As a leading global lifestyle retailer, we continue to differentiate ourselves through our distinctive brand offering and diverse product selection, as well as the unique customer experience across all of our platforms. We remain committed to serving the customer launching over 100 new brands in 2020. We have made investments over several years to integrate the digital and physical channels creating a seamless shopping experience for our customer and one channel expense structure which we believe was a critical asset in 2020 as more demand shifted to the digital channels in response to store closures.  We are continuing to deliver almost all of our online orders in North America from our stores, which has provided significant improvements in the speed of delivery to our customers. Internationally we continue to see deeper penetration of localized fulfillment and are in various stages of roll-out in different countries.  In-store fulfillment is a key part of strategy that we believe will drive long term market share by leveraging the strengths of our store sales team, providing better and faster service to customers, improving product margins, maximizing the productivity of inventory, providing additional selling opportunities, and utilizing one cost structure to serve the customer.

 

26


 

The following table shows net sales, operating profit, operating margin and diluted earnings per share for fiscal 2020 compared to fiscal 2019:

 

 

Fiscal 2020  (1)

 

 

Fiscal 2019

 

 

% Change

 

Net sales (in thousands)

 

$

990,652

 

 

$

1,034,129

 

 

 

-4.2

%

Operating profit (in thousands)

 

$

96,938

 

 

$

85,807

 

 

 

13.0

%

Operating margin

 

 

9.8

%

 

 

8.3

%

 

 

 

 

Diluted earnings per share

 

$

3.00

 

 

$

2.62

 

 

 

14.5

%

 

 

(1)

The decrease in net sales was primarily due to widespread short-term store closures globally throughout the fiscal year due to the COVID-19 pandemic, partially offset by a 13.6% comparable sales increase and the net addition of 3 stores (12 new stores offset by 9 store closures). The increase in comparable sales was driven by an increase in transactions and an increase in dollars per transaction. Dollars per transaction increased due to an increase in units per transaction and average unit retail.

 

Fiscal 2021—A Look At the Upcoming Year

We are entering fiscal 2021 having just come off an incredibly challenging year that resulted in our sales decreasing 4.2%, while still recording the strongest earnings in the history of our company.  We are currently planning 2021 with the expectation that we will continue to experience many of the challenges that impacted us in 2020, but with fewer store closures and restrictions as we move through the year.  Given the cadence of 2020, we are expecting the first quarter to be significantly stronger than 2020 while the second quarter and various elements of the back half of the year will be more challenging based on the increased competition for discretionary dollars and timing of normalized operational costs, including store payroll, travel, marketing events, and training, as overall COVID restrictions are reduced.  

In fiscal 2021, our focus remains on serving the customer with strategic investments largely focused on enhancing the customer experience while increasing market share and creating operational efficiencies to drive operating margin expansion.  Given our significant cash position, we have the security to manage through potential difficulties while also investing strategically in important long-term initiatives. As we are within our targeted store count range in North America, we expect that store count will be roughly flat in the region. In Europe and Australia, however, we continue to believe we have growth opportunities and we are planning 22 new stores during fiscal 2021, up from 9 in 2020.

In fiscal 2021, considering our anticipated growth rate inclusive of the recapture of lost sales from store closures in 2020, we expect that we will be able to grow operating margins for the full year compared to fiscal 2020. It is important to note that we will also be looking to reintroduce costs that were cut in 2020 due to their importance to our long-term strategy, culture, and brand.  These costs will include many training and marketing related events that we were unable to execute in 2020 due to travel and other restrictions, department travel to connect our people and increased store hours as malls around the world move back to normal operations. Our year-end fiscal 2020 inventory was down 0.5% from year-end fiscal 2019.  In fiscal 2021, we anticipate inventory levels per square foot will grow slower than sales on the year as we apply learnings from 2020 to further increase inventory turns. Excluding any potential share buy-backs under the currently authorized program, we expect cash, short-term investments and working capital to increase, and do not anticipate any new long-term borrowings during the year. Long-term, we aim to grow sales annually and grow operating profit at a faster rate than sales by focusing on the changing consumer environment while managing our cost structure.

General

Net sales constitute gross sales, net of actual and estimated returns and deductions for promotions, and shipping revenue.  Net sales include our store sales and our ecommerce sales.  We record the sale of gift cards as a current liability and recognize revenue when a customer redeems a gift card.  Additionally, the portion of gift cards that will not be redeemed (“gift card breakage”) is recognized based on our historical redemption rate in proportion to the pattern of rights exercised by the customer.

27


We report “comparable sales” based on net sales beginning on the first anniversary of the first day of operation of a new store or ecommerce business.  We operate a sales strategy that integrates our stores with our ecommerce platform.  There is significant interaction between our store sales and our ecommerce sales channels and we believe that they are utilized in tandem to serve our customers.  Therefore, our comparable sales also include our ecommerce sales.  Changes in our comparable sales between two periods are based on net sales of store or ecommerce business which were in operation during both of the two periods being compared and, if a store or ecommerce business is included in the calculation of comparable sales for only a portion of one of the two periods being compared, then that store or ecommerce business is included in the calculation for only the comparable portion of the other period.  Any increase or decrease less than 25% in square footage of an existing comparable store, including remodels and relocations within the same mall, or temporary closures less than seven days does not eliminate that store from inclusion in the calculation of comparable sales.  Any store or ecommerce business that we acquire will be included in the calculation of comparable sales after the first anniversary of the acquisition date.  Current year foreign exchange rates are applied to both current year and prior year comparable sales to achieve a consistent basis for comparison. Stores closed due the impacts of COVID-19 are excluded from our comparable sales calculation if they were closed for longer than seven days. Our ecommerce business has remained open during the COVID-19 pandemic and therefore remains reported in our comparable sales calculation. There may be variations in the way in which some of our competitors and other apparel retailers calculate comparable sales.  As a result, data herein regarding our comparable sales may not be comparable to similar data made available by our competitors or other retailers.

Cost of goods sold consists of branded merchandise costs and our private label merchandise costs including design, sourcing, importing and inbound freight costs.  Our cost of goods sold also includes shrinkage, buying, occupancy, ecommerce fulfillment, distribution and warehousing costs (including associated depreciation) and freight costs for store merchandise transfers.  This may not be comparable to the way in which our competitors or other retailers compute their cost of goods sold.  Cash consideration received from vendors is reported as a reduction of cost of goods sold if the inventory has sold, a reduction of the carrying value of the inventory if the inventory is still on hand, or a reduction of selling, general and administrative expense if the amounts are reimbursements of specific, incremental and identifiable costs of selling the vendors’ products.

With respect to the freight component of our ecommerce sales, amounts billed to our customers are included in net sales and the related freight cost is charged to cost of goods sold.

Selling, general and administrative expenses consist primarily of store personnel wages and benefits, administrative staff and infrastructure expenses, freight costs for merchandise shipments from the distribution centers to the stores, store supplies, depreciation on fixed assets at our home office and stores, facility expenses, training expenses and advertising and marketing costs.  Credit card fees, insurance, public company expenses, legal expenses, amortization of intangibles, and other miscellaneous operating costs are also included in selling, general and administrative expenses.  This may not be comparable to the way in which our competitors or other retailers compute their selling, general and administrative expenses.

Key Performance Indicators

Our management evaluates the following items, which we consider key performance indicators, in assessing our performance:

Net sales.  Net sales constitute gross sales, net of sales returns and deductions for promotions, and shipping revenue.  Net sales includes comparable sales and new store sales for all our store and ecommerce businesses.  We consider net sales to be an important indicator of our current performance.  Net sales results are important to achieve leveraging of our costs, including store payroll and store occupancy.  Net sales also have a direct impact on our operating profit, cash and working capital.

Gross profit.  Gross profit measures whether we are optimizing the price and inventory levels of our merchandise.  Gross profit is the difference between net sales and cost of goods sold.  Any inability to obtain acceptable levels of initial markups or any significant increase in our use of markdowns could have an adverse effect on our gross profit and results of operations.

28


Operating profit.  We view operating profit as a key indicator of our success.  Operating profit is the difference between gross profit and selling, general and administrative expenses.  The key drivers of operating profit are net sales, gross profit, our ability to control selling, general and administrative expenses and our level of capital expenditures affecting depreciation expense.

Diluted earnings per share. Diluted earnings per share is based on the weighted average number of common shares and common share equivalents outstanding during the period.  We view diluted earnings per share as a key indicator of our success in increasing shareholder value.

Results of Operations

In December 2019, a novel stain of coronavirus (COVID-19) was first identified, and in March 2020, the World Health Organization categorized COVID-19 as a pandemic. In the best interest of our customers and employees and in line with governmental regulations, all stores were closed by March 19, 2020. We began gradually re-opening physical stores at the end of the first fiscal quarter and into the second fiscal quarter, with the majority of our stores open through the third and fourth quarter. The impacts of COVID-19 have significantly impacted the financial results of our business during fiscal 2020 resulting in our stores being open approximately 78.4% of the possible days during the year. By quarter, our stores were open, on an aggregate basis, approximately 50.2%, 73.4%, 94.7% and 93.6%, respectively, of the possible days during each fiscal quarter. 

The following table presents selected items on the consolidated statements of income as a percent of net sales:

 

 

 

Fiscal 2020

 

 

Fiscal 2019

 

 

Fiscal 2018

 

Net sales

 

 

100.0

%

 

 

100.0

%

 

 

100.0

%

Cost of goods sold

 

 

64.7

%

 

 

64.6

%

 

 

65.7

%

Gross profit

 

 

35.3

%

 

 

35.4

%

 

 

34.3

%

Selling, general and administrative expenses

 

 

25.5

%

 

 

27.1

%

 

 

28.1

%

Operating profit

 

 

9.8

%

 

 

8.3

%

 

 

6.2

%

Interest and other income (expense), net

 

 

0.5

%

 

 

0.5

%

 

 

0.2

%

Earnings before income taxes

 

 

10.3

%

 

 

8.8

%

 

 

6.4

%

Provision for income taxes

 

 

2.6

%

 

 

2.3

%

 

 

1.8

%

Net income

 

 

7.7

%

 

 

6.5

%

 

 

4.6

%

 

Fiscal 2020 Results Compared With Fiscal 2019

Net Sales

Net sales were $990.7 million for fiscal 2020 compared to $1,034.1 million for fiscal 2019, a decrease of $43.4 million or 4.2%. The decrease in sales was primarily driven by the closure of our physical retail globally due to the impact of COVID-19. For the year, our stores were open approximately 78.4% of the possible days. This decrease was partially offset by a 13.6% increase in comparable sales driven by the increase in ecommerce sales as well as the strong performance of our physical stores upon re-opening.         

The 13.6% increase in comparable sales was primarily driven by an increase in comparable transactions and an increase in dollars per transaction.  Dollars per transaction increased due to an increase in average unit retail and units per transaction.  Comparable sales were primarily driven by an increase in hardgoods followed by men’s clothing, accessories, and women’s clothing partially offset by a decrease in footwear. For information as to how we define comparable sales, see “General” above.

29


By region, North America sales decreased $48.7 million or 5.3% and other international sales increased $5.3 million or 4.4% during fiscal 2020 compared to fiscal 2019. Net sales for the year ended January 30, 2021 included a $4.6 million increase due to the change in foreign exchange rates, which consisted of $4.3 million in Europe, $0.5 million in Australia offset by a $0.2 million decrease in Canada. Excluding the impact of changes in foreign exchange rates, North America sales decreased $48.5 million or 5.3% and other international sales increased $0.5 million or 0.3% during fiscal 2020 compared to fiscal 2019.

Gross Profit

Gross profit was $350.0 million for fiscal 2020 compared to $366.6 million for fiscal 2019, a decrease of $16.6 million, or 4.5%.  As a percentage of net sales, gross profit decreased 10 basis points in fiscal 2020 to 35.3%.  The decrease was primarily driven by a 120 basis point increase in web fulfillment and shipping costs due to increased web activity as a result of COVID-19, however leveraged to the prior year when compared to total shipped sales and a 30 basis point increase due to the impairment of operating lease right-of-use assets. This was partially offset by an 80 basis point decrease in inventory shrinkage and a 70 basis point increase in product margin.

Selling, General and Administrative Expenses

Selling, general and administrative (“SG&A”) expenses were $253.1 million for fiscal 2020 compared to $280.8 million for fiscal 2019, a decrease of $27.7 million, or 9.9%.  SG&A expenses as a percent of net sales decreased 160 basis points in fiscal 2020 to 25.5%.  The decrease was primarily driven by a 70 basis point decrease due to governmental credits, a 60 basis point decrease in store wages, a 30 basis point decrease in national training and recognition events and a 20 basis point decrease in corporate costs.

Net Income

Net income for fiscal 2020 was $76.2 million, or $3.00 per diluted share, compared with net income of $66.9 million, or $2.62 per diluted share, for fiscal 2019.  Our effective income tax rate for fiscal 2020 was 25.6% compared to 26.5% for fiscal 2019. The decrease in the effective tax rate for fiscal 2020 compared to fiscal 2019 was primarily related to a reduction in net losses in certain jurisdictions where there is uncertainty as to the realization of deferred tax assets and the proportion of earnings or loss before income taxes across jurisdictions.

Fiscal 2019 Results Compared With Fiscal 2018

Net Sales

Net sales were $1,034.1 million for fiscal 2019 compared to $978.6 million for fiscal 2018, an increase of $55.5 million or 5.7%.  The increase reflected a $47.2 million increase due to comparable sales and a $10.8 million increase due to the net addition of 11 stores (made up of 6 new stores in North America, 7 new stores in Europe, and 3 new stores in Australia offset by 5 store closures).  By region, North America sales increased $44.9 million or 5.2% and other international sales increased $10.6 million or 9.7% during fiscal 2019 compared to fiscal 2018. Net sales for the year ended February 1, 2020 included $6.4 million decrease due to the change in foreign exchange rates, which consisted of $0.7 million in Canada, $5.1 million in Europe and $0.6 million in Australia.

The 4.9% increase in comparable sales was primarily driven by an increase in comparable transactions and an increase in dollars per transaction.  Dollars per transaction increased due to an increase in average unit retail and units per transaction.  Comparable sales were primarily driven by an increase in hardgoods followed by footwear, and accessories partially offset by decreases in women’s and men’s clothing. For information as to how we define comparable sales, see “General” above.

30


Gross Profit

Gross profit was $366.6 million for fiscal 2019 compared to $335.9 million for fiscal 2018, an increase of $30.7 million, or 9.1%.  As a percentage of net sales, gross profit increased 110 basis points in fiscal 2019 to 35.4%.  The increase was primarily driven by 40 basis points of leverage in our store occupancy costs, 30 basis points due to improved inventory management and lower inventory shrinkage, 30 basis points related to distribution center, fulfillment and shipping, and 10 basis points due to higher product margin.

Selling, General and Administrative Expenses

Selling, general and administrative (“SG&A”) expenses were $280.8 million for fiscal 2019 compared to $274.9 million for fiscal 2018, an increase of $5.9 million, or 2.1%.  SG&A expenses as a percent of net sales decreased 100 basis points in fiscal 2019 to 27.1%.  The decrease was primarily driven by 80 basis points impact of leverage in our store costs and 20 basis points in impairment on fixed assets.

Net Income

Net income for fiscal 2019 was $66.9 million, or $2.62 per diluted share, compared with net income of $45.2 million, or $1.79 per diluted share, for fiscal 2018.  Our effective income tax rate for fiscal 2019 was 26.5% compared to 27.5% for fiscal 2018. The decrease in the effective tax rate for fiscal 2019 compared to fiscal 2018 was primarily related to a reduction in net losses in certain jurisdictions where there is uncertainty as to the realization of deferred tax assets and the proportion of earnings or loss before income taxes across jurisdictions.

Seasonality and Quarterly Results

As is the case with many retailers of apparel and related merchandise, our business is subject to seasonal influences.  As a result, we have historically experienced, and expect to continue to experience, seasonal and quarterly fluctuations in our net sales and operating results.  Our net sales and operating results are typically lower in the first and second quarters of our fiscal year, while the back-to-school and winter holiday periods in our third and fourth fiscal quarters historically have accounted for the largest percentage of our annual net sales.  Quarterly results of operations may also fluctuate significantly as a result of a variety of factors, including the timing of store openings and the relative proportion of our new stores to mature stores, fashion trends and changes in consumer preferences, calendar shifts of holiday or seasonal periods, changes in merchandise mix, timing of promotional events, general economic conditions, competition and weather conditions. Fiscal 2020 was further impacted by the effects of COVID-19 and the impacts of closures and reduced operating hours across the year.  

The following table sets forth selected unaudited quarterly consolidated statements of income data.  The unaudited quarterly information has been prepared on a basis consistent with the audited consolidated financial statements included elsewhere herein and includes all adjustments that we consider necessary for a fair presentation of the information shown.  This information should be read in conjunction with our audited consolidated financial statements and the notes thereto.  The operating results for any fiscal quarter are not indicative of the operating results for a full fiscal year or for any future period and there can be no assurance that any trend reflected in such results will continue in the future.

 

 

 

Fiscal 2020

 

 

 

First Quarter

 

 

Second Quarter

 

 

Third Quarter

 

 

Fourth Quarter

 

 

 

(in thousands, except stores and per share data)

 

Net sales

 

$

137,772

 

 

$

250,392

 

 

$

270,952

 

 

$

331,536

 

Gross profit

 

$

23,736

 

 

$

90,850

 

 

$

105,806

 

 

$

129,623

 

Operating (loss) profit

 

$

(27,848

)

 

$

33,112

 

 

$

37,865

 

 

$

53,809

 

Net (loss) income

 

$

(21,101

)

 

$

25,392

 

 

$

29,139

 

 

$

42,797

 

Basic (loss) earnings per share

 

$

(0.84

)

 

$

1.02

 

 

$

1.17

 

 

$

1.71

 

Diluted (loss) earnings per share

 

$

(0.84

)

 

$

1.01

 

 

$

1.16

 

 

$

1.68

 

Number of stores open at the end of the period

 

 

719

 

 

 

720

 

 

 

725

 

 

 

721

 

Comparable sales increase

 

 

12.9

%