Shoe Carnival, Inc. is one of the nation’s largest family footwear retailers. We offer customers a broad assortment of moderately priced dress, casual and athletic footwear for men, women and children with emphasis on national and regional name brands. We differentiate our retail concept from our competitors' by our distinctive, highly promotional in-store marketing effort and large stores that average 11,100 square feet, generate an average of approximately $2.2 million in annual sales and carry an average inventory of approximately 28,000 pairs of shoes per location. As of January 31, 2009, we operated 304 stores in 29 states primarily in the Midwest, South and Southeast regions of the United States.
We make available free of charge through the Investor Relations portion of our website at www.shoecarnival.com our annual reports on Form 10-K, our quarterly reports on Form 10-Q, our current reports on Form 8-K and amendments to those reports filed or furnished pursuant to Section 13(a) or Section 15(d) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended, as soon as reasonably practicable after we electronically file such material with, or furnish it to, the Securities and Exchange Commission.
Our annual report on Form 10-K as filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission is available without charge to shareholders, investment professionals and securities analysts upon written request. Requests should be directed to Investor Relations at the corporate address.
We are an Indiana corporation that was initially formed in Delaware in 1993 and reincorporated in Indiana in 1996.
Our goal is to continue to grow our net sales and earnings by strengthening our position as the logical destination store for our customers’ footwear needs. Key elements of our business strategy are as follows.
We offer a distinctive shopping experience. Our stores combine competitive pricing with a highly promotional, in-store marketing effort that encourages customer participation and creates a fun and exciting shopping experience. We promote a high-energy retail environment by decorating with bright lights and bold colors, and by featuring a stage and barker as the focal point in each store. With a microphone, this barker, or "mic-person", announces current specials, organizes contests and games, and assists and educates customers with the features and location of merchandise. Our mic-person offers limited-duration promotions throughout the day, encouraging the customers to take immediate advantage of our value pricing. We believe this highly promotional atmosphere results in various competitive advantages, including increased multiple unit sales; the building of a loyal, repeat customer base; the creation of word-of-mouth advertising; and enhanced sell through of in-season goods.
We offer a broad merchandise assortment. Our objective is to be the destination store-of-choice for a wide range of consumers seeking moderately priced, current season name brand and private label footwear. Our product assortment includes dress and casual shoes, sandals, boots and a wide assortment of athletic shoes for the entire family. The average store carries approximately 28,000 pairs of shoes in four general categories - men’s, women’s, children’s and athletics. In addition to footwear, our stores carry selected accessory items complementary to the sale of footwear. We emphasize name brand merchandise to customers with creative signage and by prominently displaying selected brands on end caps, focal walls and within the aisles. These displays may highlight a product offering of a single vendor, highlight sales promotions, advertise promotional pricing to meet or beat competitors’ sale prices or may make a seasonal or lifestyle statement by highlighting similar footwear from multiple vendors. These visual merchandising techniques make it easier for customers to shop and focus attention on key name brands. Expenses for signage and visual displays highlighting a particular brand will often be partially or fully reimbursed by the vendor.
We believe that by offering a wide selection of both athletic and non-athletic footwear, we are able to reduce our exposure to shifts in fashion preferences between those categories. Our ability to identify and react to fashion changes is a key factor in our sales and earnings performance.
We offer value to our customers. Our marketing effort targets moderate income, value conscious consumers seeking name brand footwear for all age groups. We believe that by offering a wide selection of popular styles of name brand merchandise at competitive prices, we generate broad customer appeal. Additionally, the time conscious customer appreciates the convenience of one stop shopping for the entire family. We also believe our highly promotional in-store shopping environment contributes to a reputation of value pricing throughout the store.
We maintain an efficient store level cost structure. Our cost efficient store operations and real estate strategy enable us to price products competitively. Low labor costs are achieved by housing merchandise directly on the selling floor in an open stock format, enabling customers to serve themselves, if they choose. This reduces the staffing required to assist customers and reduces store level labor costs as a percentage of sales. We prefer to locate stores predominantly in strip shopping centers in order to take advantage of lower occupancy costs and maximize our exposure to value oriented shoppers.
We rely heavily on information technology. We have invested significant resources in information technology. Our proprietary inventory management and state-of-the-art point-of-sale ("POS") systems provide corporate management, buyers and store managers with the timely information necessary to monitor and control all phases of operations. The POS provides, in addition to other features, full price management (including price look-up), promotion tracking capabilities (in support of the spontaneous nature of the in-store price promotions), real-time sales and gross margin analysis by product category at the store level and customer tracking. Using the POS, store managers are able to monitor sales and gross profit margins on a real-time basis throughout the day. Reacting to sales trends, our mic-people use POS reports to choose from among a number of product promotions supplied by our centralized merchandising staff.