Good morning everyone and welcome to the Brown Shoe third quarter 2008 financial results conference call. This call is being made accessible to the public via webcast in accordance with the SEC's regulation FD. Before we begin, I'd like to remind you of the company's Safe Harbor language. During this conference call, the company will make certain forward looking statements to help you better understand its financial results and competitive outlook. Discussion of the company's future plans and other statements in this call that are not current or historical facts are forward looking statements. These involve known and unknown risks and uncertainties that could cause the actual results to materially differ from historical results or from any future results expressed or implied by forward looking statements. Factors that could cause actual results to differ materially include those listed in our press release issued this morning and available on our 8 K filed prior to this call and other risk factors listed from time to time in the company's SEC reports. Copies of the company's reports are available online and from the company's Investor Relations Department. The company does not undertake any obligation or plan to update these forward looking statements even though the situation may change. On the call this morning will be Ron Fromm, Chairman and CEO; Diane Sullivan, President and Chief Operating Officer; Mark Hood, Chief Financial Officer; and Joe Wood, President of Brown Shoe Retail. Now I'd like to turn the call over to Ron Fromm. As you know, it was a challenging quarter and we experienced a slowdown in consumer traffic and spending that has impacted retailers and wholesalers of footwear and apparel. Macroeconomic forces significantly altered consumer shopping patterns mid quarter, and we began to take decisive action and proactive steps to manage inventory and expenses. We have a great team here and they managed the business with great rigor, and adjusted mid stream to respond to these unprecedented challenges. We are now into the heart of our planning and budgeting process, and following the FFANY New York show next week, we will complete the working of the details of our 2009 budget. As we approach our business for 2009, we are developing multiple scenarios that will give us the flexibility to position us to achieve the best possible outcome as we set our plans and operate in this down turned environment. We do not see an immediate change in the economic environment; however, we are developing initiatives to enable us to compete more effectively and garner market share in a more efficient resilient manner. So, what does this mean for Brown Shoe? Well, we are working harder to differentiate our offerings and drive newness in the market through our core brands as well as the newly developed brands. As you are aware, we have developed a strong pipeline of new businesses to more effectively compete and win market share. These new businesses were developed not only to increase our penetration in new accounts and channels but also because many of them provide terrific vertical opportunities at Famous Footwear. Our portfolio is shifting toward higher margin brands and away from low margin private label. We see this as positive movement that will be accelerating in the years ahead. As you expect, we are also intensely focused on efficiency and are applying strict disciplines to our management of expenses and capital in order to lower our cost and maximize cash flow and profitability. We are reviewing every dollar of capital and expense to ensure that we receive an appropriate return. In doing so, we will change the pace of expenditures for new stores and major capital projects. We have dramatically cut our store expansion plans for the 2009 2011 timeframe and now expect to open a net of just 25 Famous Footwear stores next year. We will also reduce our modeling and re modeling activity, and we are also indefinitely delaying our plans for headquarters redevelopment. In doing so, we will forego a potential gain in the fourth quarter to which we had previously guided related to the sale of the real estate we own here in Clayton, but we believe this is an appropriate decision given the climate. Our logistics and IT initiatives are on plan and on budget and are strategically significantly important and designed to increase operating efficiencies. However, we will monitor the pace of the investments in these projects closely. At this time, we will maintain our investment in the brands of businesses that are generating strong returns and driving our growth. During November, we increased our equity steak in the Sam Edelman brand to 50% furthering the partnership we began some 15 months ago. Importantly, Brown Shoe continues to deliver on its core values, applying conservative philosophies to our business such as our stringent inventory management disciplines. We believe firmly that Brown Shoe is prepared to weather the economic downturn. We have a heritage in footwear spanning 130 years and have successfully operated in both growing and declining economies. We operate a diversified portfolio of brands having long established and valued partnerships throughout retail, and our vast sourcing, design, and distribution expertise will also be a key advantage for us as we navigate through these unprecedented times. As we look ahead, while we are not as reliant on the holiday season as many other retail companies, we do expect promotional activity to accelerate for the holiday season, and have reduced our expectations for sales and profitability. We have updated our guidance to reflect this more difficult environment. And now, I'd like to turn the call over to Mark to review our third quarter financials and guidance is more detail. Let me begin with a review of the income statement for the third quarter. Consolidated net sales for the quarter totaled $631.7 million, down 2.2% compared to $645.5 million in the third quarter last year. Sales at Famous Footwear were up $1.7 million as the impact of operating 78 additional stores offset a decline in same store sales of 5%. Our wholesale revenues declined 4.8% as retail had sought to aggressively manage inventories as a result of the declines in traffic at retail. Our Specialty retail business was also down 7.3%, driven primarily by lower same store sales in the US. Diane and Joe will provide more color on our results by business units shortly. Gross profit margins decreased 100 basis points to 39.3% from 40.3% in the third quarter last year. The decline was driven by lower margins at both our wholesale and retail businesses. At wholesale, margins were down 40 basis points year over year as a result of both higher markdown in allowances and shifts in brand and channel mix. At retail, our margins were down 70 basis points at Famous Footwear as a result of our efforts to maintain appropriate inventory levels both in quantity and freshness. SG increased as a percent of net sales to 37.3% or $235.8 million compared to 33.7% or $217 million in the third quarter last year. The increase in the quarter resulted from two main factors; first, 190 basis points of this change was a result of the impact of the $16.5 million in non recurring costs relating to our headquarters consolidation and IT initiatives in the current year versus $4.5 million in non recurring earnings enhancement plan cost in the third quarter of 2007. The remaining 170 basis points increased as a result of operating 78 more Famous Footwear stores resulting in higher facilities expense and expense de leverage from negative comps at Famous Footwear and Specialty retail as well as lower wholesale sales. As a result of these factors, consolidated operating income decreased to $12.9 million or 2% of net sales from $42.8 million or 6.6% of net sales in the third quarter last year. Net interest expense totaled $3.4 million in the third quarter compared with last year's $2.8 million. Our tax rate in the quarter was a negative 9%. The negative tax rate for the quarter reflects the cumulative adjustment of our year to date tax expense to our expected full year rate. The full year rate reflects a higher relative mix of foreign earnings which are subject to lower statutory tax rates, and state tax incentives for job creation and training coming from the transition of our Madison headquarters at St. Louis. We recognize these tax incentives as a discrete item as they are earned. Net earnings in the third quarter were $10.4 million or $0.25 per diluted share versus $27 million or $0.61 per diluted share in the third quarter of the prior year. Third quarter results include $0.24 per diluted share in cost related to our headquarters consolidation and IT initiatives. Third quarter 2007 earnings included costs of $2.9 million or $0.06 per diluted share related to our earnings enhancement plan. Therefore, adjusted earnings in the quarter totaled $20.5 million or $0.49 per diluted share, a decrease of 26.9% on a per share basis versus $29.9 million or $0.67 per diluted share last year. Moving to our balance sheet, cash and cash equivalents were $36 million in the quarter versus $79.9 million last year. The year over year decline is largely a result of the Q4 2007 share re purchase and an increase in year to date CapEx of $22 million. Total inventory at quarter end was $469.3 million, up 6.5% from $440.9 million at third quarter end last year. Inventory at Famous Footwear was up 9% to $352.4 million on 78 net new stores, but was flat on a per store basis. Inventory at wholesale was up 3.6% from a year ago. Specialty retail inventory was down 4.7%. As Diane will speak to you shortly, we are pleased with the aging of our inventory of both retail and wholesale and are taking measures in the quarter to align our inventory with lower sales expectations. Long term debt outstanding at quarter end was $150 million, same as quarter end last year. We did have $24 million of borrowings from our credit facility at the end of the quarter which reflects lower earnings performance and higher CapEx. Total debt to capital ratio at the end of the third quarter was 23.7%. Capital expenditures in the third quarter totaled $23.3 million which primarily reflects spending for new stores, remodels, the West Coast distribution center, and purchase of software and systems upgrades and capitalized software related to our information technology initiatives. Moving to our guidance for the fourth quarter and full year 2008, we expect full year earnings per diluted share on a GAAP basis in the range of $0.09 to $0.18. This includes aggregate non recurring items of $0.33 per diluted share, $0.43 related to our Madison transition, $0.05 for our ERP project offset by $0.15 in insurance recoveries back in the first quarter. As a result of pausing our HQ re development, we no longer expect a real estate gain in 2008. 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The acts of chopping, dicing, getting measurements just right and atCanning's comeback: Preserving the tastes of summerHow low should your price go?Master Gardeners root up kitchen tipsWhen It Pays to Rent: Deciding whether to rent or buyBeyond the Mortgage: Your monthly loan payment is just the start of the expenses that go into homeownershipIn the end, it was a simple formula.The La Crosse Loggers solved their season long four game losing streak Tuesday as their three South Division All Stars led the way to an 8 2 win over the Lakeshore Chinooks in front of an announced crowd of 2,319 at Copeland Park.Starter Jake Stassi pitched seven effective innings, Rich Prigatano hit a three run home run and bullpen ace Jacob Dorris finished up a satisfying night."Jake pitched well, they made a big error and Rich hit a big home run," Loggers manager Andy McKay said. "There's really no trick to it."The Loggers came in having lost four straight, including a three game weekend sweep at Wisconsin and a home loss to the Chinooks on Monday. It was the team's longest since it lost four in a row July 30 Aug. 2, 2011."Our attitude was good through it all," Prigatano said. "We had to just keep grinding because streaks come like that."Stassi (3 0) a teammate of Prigatano's at Long Beach State, allowed two runs on five hits and struck out six. He has a 1.93 ERA in two starts at home."It was definitely nice to get back in the win column," Stassi said. "We never thought we were playing bad baseball. We were working hard every day. Your approach doesn't change."The game was tied 2 2 through 5 innings as the Loggers scored on RBI outs by Prigatano and Bednar and Lakeshore responded with Brian Anderson's RBI flyout and Forrest Chadwick's fifth home run of the season.The Loggers pulled away in the bottom of the sixth after Lakeshore's infield threw the ball around.Bobby Juan (single), who is batting .381 in July, and Prigatano (walk) reached base to start the inning.McKay had Kevin Kramer try a sacrifice bunt, which caused all sorts of problems for the Chinooks' defense. When the dust settled after a pair of errors on the play, two runs had scored and Kramer was standing on third.Boomer Collins' RBI single made it 5 2.Lakeshore starter Andrew Waszak returned for the seventh and the Loggers, who had been hitting the ball hard against him most of the night, finally knocked him out.With two outs and two on, Prigatano, the Loggers' only position player named to the South Division All Star team, drilled his fourth homer of the season to center field for an 8 2 lead. Air Jordan 6 Rings Carbon Fiber,Yesterday we went to the Stride Rite outlet and got the kids all new shoes. This was one of the harder trips. DH was trying to find some information out for his dad, so he wasn't able to help with the kids for the first little bit, so that delayed things for a while. I found out their sizes. ODS and MDD wear the same size and YDD and MDS wear the same size. The boys both have wide feet too Finding out their sizes was the easy part. Next was off to find shoes. I did YDD and MDD first. They picked out the shoes they wanted to try on. I went to help ODS. He wanted Superball ones, and everyone was getting sandals, since they only had one type, that was easy. MDS ended up getting the same ones as ODS. I went back to see how the girls were doing. MDD's were fine. YDD was freaking out because her's didn't fit (DH didn't help her put them on). Meanwhile, ODD was looking at shoes for herself. She was getting mad because she didn't want shoes like the other girls. She had to get sandals and she wanted pink ones. DH eventually helped YDD get the sandals on. ODD was having a fit because she didn't want shoes like anyone else. Finally she noticed that the part where her feet go were different from YDD. Thank goodness!!! It only took us an hour! haha How do your shoe shopping trips go? ugh I hate shoe shopping. And for whatever reason I can't find ONE store to buy shoes for ALL of them. We're lucky if we hit TWO stores for shoes and can call it a day.
Official Outlet Website Offers Many Cheap Air Jordan 6 Rings Carbon Fiber,Air Jordan Spizike Challenge Red 1985 was the year of world titles for Dennis Taylor and Barry McGuigan, Ireland's Triple Crown, and moving statues at Ballinspittle. It was also marked by what The Mayo News described as "one of the most exciting and keenly contested Mayo Senior Football Championship finals ever". In 1985, Ballaghaderreen were chasing their first title since 1972. Astonishingly, Ballina Stephenites hadn't won the prize since 1966. The final they served up produced one of the strangest scorelines in Mayo club history 4 2 to 1 10. Two people did more than most to break Ballagh' hearts that day. The game was illuminated by an outstanding performance from Liam McHale, and won by a long range free from Kevin McStay. Next Sunday, manager McStay and coach McHale will be hoping their St Brigid's team can get the better of Ballagh' in the Connacht final. "1985 was the beginning of a great time for Mayo," says McStay, recalling the Connacht title and draw with Dublin in the All Ireland semi final. "We had just come through a very exciting summer, and the club scene kinda got lost in it even though Ballina had, for the first time in a long time, started to get a bit of a run. "We hadn't won it since the 1960s, and for a club with our tradition, that was a monstrous break [But] unknown to ourselves, we were winning games. And the old adage was 'if you left Ballina in the competition long enough, they're going to cause trouble'. The place to beat them was early on." That didn't happen the Stephenites beat Ballinrobe, Davitts and Belmullet (after a replay) to book their place in the final. One of their two meetings with the Erris side stands out in McStay's mind, because he had flown from San Francisco to New York to Shannon in the previous 24 hours, having been on an Army tour in America. "I was cuckoo!" he laughs. Ballina had "a great sense that we could win" the final, McStay recalls, "notwithstanding the fact that Ballaghaderreen probably had their best team in a long time". The East Mayo side included two of McStay's county team mates (Dermot Flanagan and Noel Durkin) as well as John O'Mahony, still playing two years after managing Mayo to an All Ireland U 21 title and with whom McStay remembers having "a right good battle" in the final. What of the game itself? "The scoreline always provides a bit of a laugh when we're looking back on it," says McStay. "But it really shouldn't have been such a mad scoreline, because we had an awful lot of misses We had a very strong breeze [in the first half] but we were struggling, we weren't getting scores. But the next thing, we got an avalanche of goals, and that changed everything." Three goals in the space of four minutes, to be precise, which lifted the Stephenites from a point behind to eight in front. And, as Sen Rice put it in the Mayo GAA Yearbook of 1985, these "came more from defensive errors by Ballaghaderreen than from Stephenites' creativity it was as if the gods had conspired against them". McSTAY himself got the first, taking full advantage when given a second bite of the cherry. Brian Williams then punched the ball into the net after McStay's attempt for a point from a sideline kick "didn't make it [and] fell in among 20 fellas". Brian Molloy also goaled after intercepting Pat Towey's kick out. The Mayo News match report notes that Ballaghaderreen felt Molloy's goal should have been disallowed, but McStay says there was "nothing wrong" with it. He adds wryly that the Ballagh' goal (from Tommy McBrien) "didn't even cross the line" according to Ballina goalkeeper Liam Higgins. In the event, both goals were permitted, and the Stephenites were 3 1 to 1 2 ahead at half time. They were in for a battle though. "Ballagh' made a great game of it after half time," McStay says. "All you had to do was get the ball up in the air the breeze was bringing it 60 yards. 'Flanno' [Dermot Flanagan] and 'Durks' [Noel Durkin] started getting back at us and it was getting very squeaky." The gap was back to two before McStay's brother Paul struck for the best goal of the game, a blistering left footed shot which "gave us a breather". But Ballagh' weren't finished yet, and got back to level before McStay's decisive free. "Jimmy Browne was to take it, [but] I was taking frees for Mayo at the time, and I fancied it, really because I was hoping to centre it for Liam [McHale] to get a flick on it," the fomer All Star recalls. "I felt I was more accurate than Jimmy, but Jimmy had more distance than me. I just got it under the breeze, I suppose, and against the wind, it was a fair one to get." Minutes later, amid scenes of elation, Jimmy Browne became the first Ballina captain to receive the Moclair Cup, presented to Mayo GAA Board 14 years previously by Paddy Moclair. McStay remembers "incredible celebrations" and having a few beers in Walsh's in Charlestown, the town where the game was played. "It was an awful relief to have won it after so long," he says. "We had a very good team. I think we were a better team than Ballagh'. But if the goals hadn't gone in, we wouldn't have won it. The two teams were very well matched. I was training in Dublin with Dermot [Flanagan] and driving to all the matches; we were very close. Noel [Durkin] was on the All Ireland U 21 team two years earlier, so I was very fond of him." But it was another Mayo player who literally and figuratively stood head and shoulders above the rest. Writing in the Mayo GAA Yearbook, Sen Rice described Liam McHale's performance as "the cornerstone" of Ballina's victory. McStay wholly concurs, and says that more than any other individual, his brother in law was responsible for clinching a 30th title for the club. "Liam was fantastic. He was only a young fella. He was a sub on that [Mayo] '85 team, and the terrible pity was that just through pressure, the management felt he was too young and too soon on the panel to be brought on. But sure he was the best midfielder in the county. We knew that. That's why we were in the county final. And he had a marvellous final." Air Jordan 6 Rings Carbon Fiber Undoubtedly, Kimora's personal style greatly influenced the Baby Phat brand. The collection has been featured in Bazaar, Seventeen, Star, Vibe, and many other widely circulated magazines. The variety of publications featuring the collection speaks to the crossover appeal of Baby Phat. Celebrities known to have to donned this chic, urban apparel include Paula Abdul, Britney Spears, and Alicia Keys. Fashion Model To Fashion Mogul Kimora Lee, a St. Louis native, was an established model by the age of 13. Early on it seemed Kimora was destined to live the life she now leads. 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