Arguably, both are nice to have in your shoe closet, but the hidden wedge seems to be easier to find than flat boots that look like a high heel. Aside from a totally flat boot that has a high heel painted on the side, a less literal wear for this type of shoe is in the cheat of a platform. The thick sole of the platform provides height but grounding. It lessens the distance between your heel and the ball of your foot so any 6 inch high heel magically walks like a 3 inch heel. Platforms have been used primarily with a high heel, but have also been used in straight across flats such as the trending creepers style of shoe. A blend of the two allows for comfort, surprising practicality and a fashionably feminine appearance. Booties with both a chunky platform and heel look as if it has a tall heel but walks like a flat. Many shoes of this ilk have a heel to platform ratio of about 6 to 2 inches, technically measuring the toesdistance from the ground and the heels distance. But if you look up the side view of the boot, the curve from the ball to heel is a much shorter distance than 4 inches. The weight of the thick sole and short gap between the chunky heel responds as a flat would by shortening the distance the arch of the foot has to stretch. Generally speaking, the flatform trend is a level platform that adds the same amount of inches to the whole sole. Look for a flatform boot with a little more definition in the arch area rather than a completely flat platform/creeper appearing as a high heel from the front and a high wedge from the side view. These are even more bonafide flats because there is constant sole touching the ground. Its a class of wedge, but again, allows the whole of your foot to stay parallel to the ground, whereas a conventional wedge only conceals the vacancy in the shoes bottom. Black Infrared 13s ,Sport Blue 3s Thunder 4s Cheap Bred Low 11s Fear 3s French Blue 7s Slam Dunk 6s Black Infrared 6s Black Cement 3s Ray Allen 13s Not good enough to perform at the Rogers Centre, the Milwaukee Five is doing fine thanks. Gord Ash, assistant general manager of the Brewers, was let go by Blue Jays president Paul Godfrey at the end of the 2001 season. Doug Melvin, the Brewers GM, was interviewed, then rejected by Godfrey when hiring Ash replacement, Godfrey reasoning that Melvin had not developed enough pitching as GM of the Texas Rangers. Ricciardi in the purge that claimed manager Buck Martinez. Ron Roenicke, manager of the Brewers, was interviewed by GM Alex Anthopoulos and assistant GM Tony LaCava a year ago. Shaun Marcum, the Game 2 starter of the NLCS, was dealt last December to the Brewers for third baseman Brett Lawrie. The Brewers finished 2010 with 77 wins, with their four most active starters being Randy Wolf, Yovani Gallardo, David Bush and Chris Narveson. Gallardo starts against the St. Louis Cardinals and right hander Chris Carpenter Wednesday in Game 3 of the best of seven National League Championship Series at Busch Stadium. Wolf starts Game 4 on Thursday, while Bush moved on to the Texas Rangers and Narveson, who made 28 starts this season, is in the bullpen for post season play. After identifying improving their rotation as job No. 1, Melvin and Ash did that by adding two legitimate starters within 13 days. The Brewers, as we mentioned, dealt top prospect Lawrie to the Jays for Marcum, at the winter meetings in Florida. They then acquired Zach Greinke from the Kansas City Royals, along with shortstop Yuniesky Betancourt and four minor leaguers on Dec. 19. The brother of Jays director of pro scouting director, Perry Minasian, is Zack Minasian, who holds the same position with the Brewers. and Zack did a lot of talking, said Ash, of the Marcum Lawrie deal. wasn any mystery to this. The question we had to answer was whether we wanted Marcum now or look for someone younger, comparable to Lawrie as a pitching prospect. decided solidifying our rotation was more important. has pitched 209 1/3 innings this season, including the post season the most work of his career. From opening day until Aug. 23 he was 11 3 with a 3.40 ERA in 26 starts. Since then, he 2 6 with a 5.43 ERA in nine starts, including post season play. Greinke, a top of the rotation guy, a young, former Cy Young award winner would be the No. 1 move him and Marcum, said Melvin. lost CC Sabathia and Ben Sheets to free agency. Our market doesn allow us to replace them. We thought we should be aggressive. We figured we were a .500 team. If you think you are .500 anything can happen. Brewers, with a team payroll of $85.5 million (17th) added reliever Takashi Saito (2.03 ERA in 30 games) in the off season. They acquired centre fielder Nyger Morgan from the Washington Nationals and Francisco Rodriguez from the New York Mets in early July to work the eighth. And they added Jerry Hairston from Washington at the non waiver trade deadline to take over from Casey McGehee, who hit .233. Perhaps the biggest decision the Brewers made was NOT moving Prince Fielder when it became apparent he would not re sign. It similar to Roy Halladay with the Jays in 2009. The Jays knew he was leaving but kept him. Milwaukee kept Fielder, added quality pieces and decided to make a run at it. still think we be good in 2012, Melvin said. have Ryan Braun, Corey Hart and Rickie Weeks back, all our starters plus closer John Axford. months ago the Brewers hired rookie manager Roenicke. reminds me of Johnny Oates, said Melvin of Oates who managed the Texas Rangers for seven seasons. utilize his coaches, interacts with players to get their opinions. He even keeled, doesn get flustered. He been through it, managing in the minors, a bench coach and a third base coach. Black Infrared 13s,Good morning, my name is Regina and I will be your conference operator today. At this time, I would like to welcome everyone to the Brown Shoe Company Second Quarter Earnings Conference Call. All lines have been placed on mute to prevent any background noise. After the speakers' remarks, there will be a question and answer session. (Operator Instructions) Thank you. I would now like to turn the conference over to Ms. Peggy Riley Tharp. Ma'am, you may begin. Thank you. Good morning and thank you for participating in the Brown Shoe Company Second Quarter 2014 Earnings call, which is being made available to the public via webcast. I'm Peggy Riley Tharp, Vice President of Investor Relations for Brown Shoe Company. In addition, slides are available on our website for you to reference during today's call. Please be aware that today's discussion contains forward looking statements which are subject to a number of risks and uncertainties. Securities and Exchange Commission. Please refer to today's press release and our SEC filings for more information on risk factors and other factors that could impact forward looking statements. Copies of these reports are available online. The company undertakes no obligation to update any information discussed on this call at any time. Joining us on the call today are Diane Sullivan, CEO, President and Chairman; Russ Hammer, Chief Financial Officer, and Rick Ausick, President of Famous Footwear. Today we will begin with a strategy review by Diane followed by a financial summary from Russ before turning the call back over for Q I would now like to turn the call over to Diane Sullivan. Thanks, Peggy and good morning everyone and thanks for joining us today. As we report second quarter earnings of $0.41 per share which is up 17% and ahead of our expectations. Second quarter sales of $636 million were up 2.3% with both Famous Footwear and Wholesale contributing to another successful quarter. This good performance was delivered despite a choppy retail landscape which ranged from a strong May to a more subdued June and then finally in July improving somewhat. Starting with Famous Footwear same store sales were up 1.6% over the 6.8% the team delivered in the second quarter of last year. The lifestyle category as we've been saying for sometime now maintained its hot streak with canvas in particular up 27% as consumers continue to shift to lifestyle versus performance footwear. We've increased our canvas inventory to meet this demand and as a result total Famous Footwear inventory for the second quarter was up 2.5% this was inline with last year's peak and for the third quarter we're already below last year's inventory level. In addition to strong canvas sales in the second quarter we also delivered a very respectable sandal season. We actively managed inventory and resisted promotional activity. As a result, women sandals were up 1.4% in the quarter with July 5.5% improvement helping total spring sales fall in line with last years. We also not only maintained overall sandal margins, but saw an improvement in the quarter. Let's talk a little bit about third quarter and our back to school strategy, very similar to last year we're targeting four components for success. Focusing, on big brand ideas, investing in key product categories, increasing our digital and online advertising, and continuing to focus on our rewards program growth. Our assortment strategy continues to target a more narrow but deep selection of items, which we then focused our back to school marketing efforts around. And not only do we have the top brands in stock, as we always do, we also have exclusive style and colors only available at Famous Footwear. Our omni channel strategy has helped us with these efforts by enabling us to get the word out about these exclusives available only at Famous. For back to school this year, we enhanced our mobile and outreach social outreach in order to remain a key footwear resource for families. We now have nearly one million downloads in less than a year from our Famous Footwear mobile app and that really continues to gain traction and momentum. Our rewards program maintains key for our core customers, and our communications to them during this back to school season are even more personalized, more informative and more connected. And we're maximizing a back to school store traffic to drive participation in our rewards program for the third year in a row. Once again, we expect to add more than one million new members as part of this effort. So while we still have a few weeks of back to school remaining, we're generally pleased with our results. Back to school same store sales are up 1.8% following a 5.6% improvement in back to school sales last year and 5.5% in 2012. So all in another good quarter delivered by Famous. Now turning to our wholesale operations, where second quarter sales of a $194.3 million were up 7.7% with a solid majority of our brands contributing. Star performers included Via Spiga, Vince, Dr. Scholl's and Sam Edelman with each of at least double digits. At Sam we had another great quarter up double digits with strong sell throughs, and next month we will be opening Sam's second store in Beverly Hills. We also launched apparel at the end of the second quarter for fall, and while still early, the outlook is very good. Without a doubt, as we shared with you at our Investor Day, the brand is performing extremely well and we're on track with our strategic plan for the growth of this brand. For Vince sales were up significantly with all major department stores reporting double digit sales growth. Vince brand has seen explosive growth and is setting a strong aesthetic and design pace from the marketplace. The result is great products spread across key trends categories, such as modern dress shoes, upfront block heels, sneakers, sport sandals, and espadrilles. During the quarter we also launched men's in 50 doors, and these sales have had a similar clean and understated luxury feel as our women's line does. The Via Spiga turnaround continues. And that was because we really elevated an on trend product that delivered higher AURs lower allowances and fewer closed outs. We have a lot more planned for this brand as we move forward, with new imaging, a new website and a whole lot of other refreshes planned as we move into 2015. Dr. Scholl's delivered another good quarter despite spotty women's sandal sales offset by growth in flats and athletic styles. Men's which account for approximately 40% of Scholl's sales, did especially well in sandals, and with casual and sport leisure styles as well. At Naturalizer sales were lower as we operated fewer retail stores versus a year ago. And due to retail promotions for sandal across all channels in both June and July there were fewer re orders for Naturalizer sandals. So for the quarter in our wholesale business operating margin improved to 9.9%. This 540 basis point improvement helped contribute to our 4.9% consolidated operating margin rates up a 120 basis points, as we continued to drive toward our long term goal of 8%. I'm very pleased with our growth so far this year and in the second quarter. The solid foundation that we've built over the last several years are really going to enable us to maintain our progress against our long term targets, and importantly, allow us to continue to deliver shareholder value as we report another good year in 2014. With that I'd now like to turn the call over to Russ for review of our overall financials and a little more detail around our guidance. Thanks, Diane. And thank you, everyone, for joining us on both the call and the webcast. We appreciate it. Although Diane briefly reviewed our results, I'd like to add a little more color for the second quarter we reported net sales of $635.9 million up 2.3% versus $621.7 million in 2013. Second quarter net earnings of $18.1 million or $0.41 per diluted share were up 17.1% over the $15.4 million or $0.35 we reported last year. At Famous Footwear, we improved our trailing 12 month revenue per square foot to $212, as we closed our relocated 16 stores in the quarter and opened 17. We're operating 24 fewer stores versus this time last year, and we currently expect to open approximately 50 stores in 2014 and close roughly 60. Let's turn to a review of our financial metrics now. Overall, gross margin in the second quarter was 40.8% which was down 20 basis points over the last year. SG as a shared revenue was 35.9% which improved by a 130 basis points year over year as we continue to leverage our expense base and see the benefit of our cost management actions. Inventory at quarter end was $657.7 million up 6.8% over the last year's second quarter wholesale inventory was up 22.9% at the quarter end driven by Sam Edelman as consumer demand continues to increase for this brand. At Famous Footwear inventory was up 2.5% in line with last year's back to school inventory build. Our corporate tax rate was 31.4% for the quarter, net interest expense of $5 million was down 1.8% in the quarter. Cash and equivalents for the quarter were $46.9 million as we continue to build our cash position back up following our February acquisition of Franco Sarto for $65 million in cash. We ended the quarter with no borrowings against our revolving credit agreement, down $23 million year over year, we also improved our debt to capital ratio to 28.1% from 34.2% last year. Before we begin Q I would like to review our fiscal 2014 guidance. First to account for a better than anticipated second quarter, we're raising our annual guidance range to $1.50 to $1.60. As a result, we now expect our consolidated net sales of $2.58 billion to $2.60 billion, same store sales at Famous up low single digits and inline with year to date performance, specialty retail sales down mid single digits due to store closures. Net sales at wholesale operations up mid to high single digits as we're encouraged by the strength of our fourth quarter orders, gross margin up approximately 10 basis points. SG of $929 million and $30 million with continued leverage, net interest expense of $20 million to $21 million and an effective tax rate of 32% to 34%. Depreciation and amortization of $51 million to $54 million and capital expenditures of $55 million to $60 million. For the third quarter, while we're generally pleased with the back to school selling season to date, we are seeing slower growth versus last year. As a result we expect third quarter EPS to be a mid to high single digits year over year. As always, we will continue to update you with our progress against our expectations. With that operator, we would be happy to answer all questions. (Operator Instructions) Our first question will come from the line of Jeff Stein with Northcoast Research. Please go ahead. Jeff Stein Northcoast Research Good morning, guys. Couple of questions. First of all, Franco Sarto. Diane, you didn't mention how that business performed, so I'm just curious if you could give us an update there. And then, question for Russ. It looks like you guys are doing a great job in wholesale in driving higher gross margins, but it looks like the real uplift, both in first and second quarter, has been from lower SG expenses in that business segment. And I'm wondering if you could talk us through your thinking about the outlook for the back half of the year in terms of the SG Because it looks like SG dollars were down about 7.5% in the second quarter in wholesale, after being down just 2.5% in Q1. So, stop there and love to hear what you have to say?
Looking For Cheap Black Infrared 13s,Oreo 5s Maryland Governor Martin O signaled that he is moving closer to mounting a 2016 presidential campaign this weekend at the summer meeting of the National Governors Association in Milwaukee. Speaking to reporters Saturday 1,192 days before Election Day while sipping a beer in the wood paneled lobby of the Hilton hotel, the Democrat seemed excited by the possibility, speaking candidly about his ongoing preparations. going well, he said, adding that he given a number of significant addresses over the past several months at universities and think tanks. the end of this year I think we on course to have a body of work that lays the framework for a candidacy in 2016. also highlighted the work of his O' Say Can You See PAC, which is supporting candidates, and growing his social media presence. The political action committee raised more than $500,000 in the first six months of 2013 and donated to early state candidates Iowa Representative Bruce L. Senate, and New Hampshire Senator Jeanne Shaheen,as O one of the most productive and most liberal legislative sessions of any governor in the country. The governor signed strict gun control legislation, boosted the state transportation funding and abolished the state death penalty. In 2012, he successfully advocated for initiatives to legalize same sex marriages in Maryland. O said he is also taking the time let my soul catch up to where my body been, slowing down to read, write and think before making the critical and life altering decision. O hinted at a possible theme for his campaign, warning of a national of confidence that won be over before the 2014 midterm elections. We're going through a period as a country we're going through this crisis of confidence. And great republics sometimes go through these periods. Individuals call them 'the dark night of the soul.' We're going through a time of confusion and a time of polarization, and a time of real crisis about whether or not we're still capable as a people of accomplishing big and important things. None more important than restoring the balance of our economy so that our middle class can continue to grow and give more opportunities to each successive generation. I don't think we're going to get through that. We will get through that period of that I have no doubt. I don't think we'll get through that period by 2014. And so you're going to have this debate rage in all the states. "It's probably going to continue for a couple more cycles," he added. O the former chairman of the Democratic Governors Association and frequent Obama surrogate, is scheduled to leave his job as governor in 2015 after eight years in the governor mansion because of term limits. Jumping into the race early will likely be essential if he is to mount a serious bid for the White House. A McClatchy Marist poll last month found him polling at 1% of the Democratic primary electorate, if former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton also decides to run. A May poll from Quinnipiac University found that even with Clinton out of the race for the Democratic nomination, the Maryland governor would start off with the support of only 3% of Democratic voters. I want to say thanks once again to this great man called Dr Samura and his spiritual way of helping people am Sarah Jude from Japan i lives in USA with my husband we love each other and also he care about me always look forward to make things easy for both of us 9 years after our wedding, we both work harder to make a family greatest surprise, we have a kid after some times again, we have another one so with this, we live in peace and he was so honest to me shortly, he started misbehaving that i don't know what is going on then i asked him. Darling what is going on? you are so strange to me this few days hope i have not offended you? he said no. Not knowing he have and affair with one lady out side who promised him a car an apartment in one estate were i cannot see him also when he cannot see me i manage to stay with him pleading him he should forgive me if have wrong to him he started complaining he has no money that he has lost all his money in his business that he needs some money then i asked him how much is this money you are looking for? he did not know i can afford it. Then, he said $14,000USD i promised him i we give it to him just for him to care about his family. My greatest surprise, the next day, i went to work and our two kids were in school not knowing his going to leave the house before i come's back i met some of his things outside i was waiting for him to come back he never come back i cried i miss him so much and he have taking all my money away i was only left with $800USD. I say this after watching how impossible it is for Obama to accomplish anything. It got to a point as soon as he says he will push for XYZ, Boehner and McConnell state they are determined to stop XYZ regardless if it is good for the country or not. These two people stripped Republican elected officials of their voting rights by forcing them to vote No on all new legislation unless told otherwise. Many complain about Obama when they need to include Boehner and McConnell in the conversation as well. I am a refugee from the People's Republic of Maryland where Martin O'Malley has the ideal constituents: an underclass of urban dependents (Baltimore City) and a hoard of federal bureaucrats (Prince George Montgomery Counties). Throw in some poor government dependentillegal immigrants and you have theDemocrat party in permanent power. News flash: It isn't. So, only the irrational, or those who want to do what they posted, would post the complete crap you just did. I am giving you the benefit of the doubt about being irrational, so you obviously are jealous of men who want to marry toasters. What, can't get your toaster to sign the pre nup? And marriage between women is in that same goal as marriage between men. Do you expect them to want to marry their vibrators?Please don't breed. The world doesn't need any more stupidity than it already has. Black Infrared 13s IT was Friday, March 2 about three hours after the incident when 72 year old Margaret Piszker called the Free Press newsroom asking to speak with me. I was on deadline. So later, she called back and asked to speak with a reporter. The story that resulted about her 74 year old husband Laszlo receiving a $199 ticket for allegedly using a cellphone while driving appeared in Monday paper. What made news out of an otherwise commonplace occurrence was one quirky, yet resonating, ingredient. Margaret and Laszlo claimed they don have a cellphone. Or, for that matter, any other kind of electronic "gadget." It was such a strange story that soon the Crestview couple was on CBC As it Happens, telling it to the whole radio universe. He with his Hungarian accent, and she with her British accent. So it was that Thursday, with the story still crackling like a downed power line, I finally returned Margaret call. "It been stressful," she began, what with strangers calling to congratulate them and the media at their door. So stressful that Margaret said she not comfortable leaving the house. "We just average, regular, ordinary, boring people," she said. "The biggest thing we do is go on a holiday to see our kids. Now we have to wait with this hanging over our heads." Average, ordinary, regular and boring? Perhaps. But, as Margaret suggested, there been nothing boring about their lives lately. In the space of a week, the Piszkers have become what amounts to local folk heroes. At least they have to a seething segment of Winnipeg drivers who feel they themselves have been unfairly tagged by police in the past. They mad as hell at the Winnipeg Police Service and, vicariously, they see the elderly couple run in with the law as a way of screaming they not going to take it anymore. What has stoked the public fury is the timing. The police service is in the midst of a traffic enforcement campaign where general patrol officers are expected, but not obliged, to write one tag a shift. So says WPS Chief Keith McCaskill, who also insists it all about public safety. The public perception is it more about digging deep into their pockets to fill the void in photoradar revenue. But not everyone is on the Piszkers side. "Did anyone actually bother to find out if possibly he was in fact using his son or daughter cellphone?" a woman asked in an email. Good question. Turns out their son resides in England and their daughter in the United States. I called the daughter, Diane Wren, at her home near Philadelphia. "They do not have a cellphone," Diane insisted. "No," she said, answering a second question. "I never suggested they get a cellphone." Curious. her mother said her daughter had asked them repeatedly to get a cellphone. "It would be absolutely wasted on them," Diane went on. "Who would they call? Each other? They go out together. They home together. What are they going to do? Sit on the couch and call each other?" Diane said there was one thing she did ask them to get. "I said, an answering machine, but they won get one of those, either." Still, the officers who pulled them over must have thought they saw something. Laszlo was emphatic. He said he didn have his hand to his ear or anything else. Maybe it was the high collar on his coat police mistook for a cellphone, he said. Anyway, as Laszlo saw it, getting stopped was all about the traffic ticket "quota" campaign. He said he believed police targeted them because they are elderly and, presumably, easy prey. Which, as respectfully as I can put it, is garbage. At least it is in this case. There are cops out there who other officers have told me "would ticket their grandmothers to get a tag."
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