I spent 13 weeks in a less than attractive boot this past winter. On my other foot was the Ahnu Sequoia. At the LUNA Chix Summit this spring I was offered the opportunity to try out some other Ahnu styles. I jumped on the chance to try the Karma. I have tried on many of the cute flats on the market this spring, but they are just so flat. No sole or insole. My feet are looking for some love these days. Some people might say I take the easy and comfortable route in my dressing! My grandmother once read an article on how people in stores treated customers based on whether or not they had on nice shoes or a nice handbag. She lived in Southern California and we would head over to South Coast Plaza and test the theory out at Tiffany's, Nordstrom's, Prada, Gucci and other high end shops. It was true! It does matter what shoes you are wearing. Those 'experiments' have stuck with me. So the Ahnu Karma had what I was looking for; comfort, fashion, and that high end look. The Karma comes in three colors black, indigo and green with sizes from 6 11 including 1/2 sizes. Our weather was less than spring like in April in New York, so I tested the shoes out inside rather than heading out in the cold and/or rain. The fit is really more like a slipper. I sometime have trouble with shoes rubbing and wondered how the ruched heel would feel. I tried with and without socks and both were comfortable. When the skies finally cleared I headed out in the Karma for a day on the baseball fields. Immediately I received comments on the shoes. 'How cute'. 'Those look comfortable'. 'I love the color'. I was at the fields for 6 hours taking pictures and standing for a good part of the day. I have to say I was pleasantly surprised at how comfortable the Karma really are. So much so I wore them again to soccer and baseball games the next day. These will definitely be a go to shoe. I still need to do my California experiment, but I am guessing the Ahnu Karma will help me get great service! These shoes are super light, so might even get put in the triathlon bag for post race at NY triathlons this summer. You can find all the shoes here. Since its founding in 2007 Ahnu has contributed more than $250,000 to charitable organizations including The Breast Cancer Fund. The Breast Cancer Fund (focuses on prevention and environmental causes) and Ahnu are both partners of Team LUNA Chix. Attend an event and you may have a chance to win a pair of Ahnu!! NY Triathlon Examiner Kristen Hislop is an avid triathlete having competed in many triathlons around the country over the course of almost 20 years. As a USAT certified coach, she works with beginning athletes as well as takes experienced triathletes to get the next level of competition. She is honored to be a coach for the Leukemia and Lymphoma's Team in Training program. She also teaches boot camp, spin classes and is a personal trainer all while managing two boys and an athletic husband. Contact meOutdoor exercise tips: What to wear for cold weather workoutsWhen there is a chill in the air, it's easy to think you'd be better off to put in a workout DVD, take your daily walk indoors at the local mall, or better yet, skip it all together. But as long. Tips for moving houseplants from outdoors to indoorsMany gardeners keep their houseplants outside during the summer and move them inside for the winter. Typically this is a good strategy but with moving plants in during the winter the plants. 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They ensure you are not obtaining a knockoff yet when the very same manufacturing plant produces the precise same footwears to one more dealer that then offers them for a portion of the cost that is the fraudster exactly?The key difference is that rather than covering 20,000 or more runners with a system that is Marathon based, it is now down to you . Its not that easy to find the right sport shoe for that meets all your requirements. If you are a fitness freak and prefer going to the gym or jog, you should pick the best running shoes for you to keep your feet healthy. However, if you are a professional runner and a sport person, you should choose the shoe that meets your sporting requir . All sports shoes have similar features; they come in many varieties and styles. The type and style of the upper, insole, and the outer sole, the material of the mesh, and the grip of a running shoe are the few considerable factors that one should keep in the mind. Moreover, the shoe should meet all sport related requirements, it matters a lot, as the feet need protection as well as comfort. Not onl . You should not waste your time in buying shoes which are not worth it, rather buy shoes which have the characteristic of becoming your favorite shoe. If you like to run and your workout involves more of the Cardio workout, then you should check out for good quality running shoes. Running shoes are available in various styles and there are a lot of brands that are manufacturing good quality . Hence, one should purchase the perfect running shoes that provide maximum comfort to his feet. Even if you have plans to purchase shoes available at discounted prices from an online store, you should pick only the branded pair to make the best value of your money. The types of shoes you wear determine your physical fitness. Obviously, with the snug fit footwear youll . Nike Kobe 9 Low EM XDR Red Black,Good morning. My name is Jennifer, and I will be your conference operator today. At this time, I would like to welcome everyone to the third quarter earnings call. [Operator Instructions] Thank you, and Ms. Reilly Tharp, you may begin your conference. Thanks, Jennifer. Good morning, and thank you for participating in the Brown Shoe Company Third Quarter 2013 Earnings Call, which is being made available to the public via webcast. I'm Peggy Reilly 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 contain 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 in this call at any time. Joining us on the call today are Diane Sullivan, President and Chief Executive Officer; Russ Hammer, Chief Financial Officer; and Rick Ausick, President of Famous Footwear. Today, we'll begin with the strategy review from 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. Hello, and thanks very much for joining us this morning as we report another good quarter of Brown Shoe Company results. Third quarter consolidated sales of $702.8 million were up 1% over last year, and that excludes sales from discontinued brands. Earnings per share of $0.63 were up 12.5%, while gross margin of 39.6% declined 50 basis points. Operating margin of 6.4% was up 50 basis points and, as you know, we've been working hard to advance our corporate operating margin to reach our long term goal of 8%. While this was a really terrific quarter, there is still room to grow this metric. We've been able to make some outstanding progress against our financial targets in the past 18 months. Our strategy is working and for the third quarter of this year, we have already delivered $0.27 more in earnings versus the first 9 months of 2012. Let's get into the detail starting with Famous Footwear, where we saw continued growth in same store sales, up 4.9% for the quarter and this strength was across all geographies, climate zones and genders. We delivered record quarterly sales at Famous Footwear of $439.6 million, while operating margin of 8.4% was up 30 basis points. During the quarter, Famous Footwear capped off a great back to school season with 5.6% same store sales growth. I know we gave you a pretty good update, I think, on our back to school strategy and execution during our second quarter call, but I'd like to just stress that our success is due to the work we've done over the last 18 months and we're continuing to build on that foundation. We accelerated our store portfolio review and are now in a much better position in terms of store profitability and revenue per square foot. We also invested in our assortment efforts. We're focused on a smaller number of key styles but providing greater depth with those products. And finally, we've developed a relevant and compelling approach to marketing that has really resonated with the consumer, and the results have followed. Now despite our success during back to school, like many of our peers, we did experience weak traffic patterns during the quarter and, actually, kind of throughout the year. However, our conversion rate has remained strong in the third quarter, up 5.3%, while pairs per transaction and AURs were also positive for the quarter. In terms of product categories and styles, we continue to see good success with canvas, which was up 25%, including boat shoes. Lightweight running is still also tracking very well and accounts for nearly 2/3 of all running shoe sales. And when back to school was in full swing during the quarter, we saw strong growth in sport slides, up 32%, and continued strength in sandals, up 16%, as warmer weather remained with us during the third quarter. Not surprisingly, this growth appeared to have come at the expense of the boot category, which was up only 2%. Although we only have a few weeks of the fourth quarter behind us, boot sales have been somewhat sluggish in November. But we feel confident that we have the right product in store for when the consumer is ready to buy. Now, let's turn to our Wholesale Operations for a minute, where sales of $205.3 million were up 4.5%, excluding sales from discontinued brands. As we've moved into the fall season, we've seen high shaft boots, shooties and booties doing well for all of our brands. We're seeing a lot of buckle and strap details, jewels on suede, distressed leathers, which are somewhat new for a lot of consumers this season. Healthy Living wholesale sales were down 5.6% in the third quarter, excluding sales from discontinued brands. But as we talked about last quarter, approximately $7 million of Healthy Living sales, primarily Naturalizer, shifted into the second quarter from the third quarter this year. So if you look at the Healthy Living portfolio on a year to date basis, sales are up 1.2% over 2012, in line with our expectations and we expect to be running somewhere around up 2% by year end. At Naturalizer, our largest wholesale brand, all in sales were down 6.1% in the quarter. However, most telling is that retail sell throughs are up year over year on lower inventory. And we've also seen significant improvements in the non store channel with retailers like Zappos, Amazon and HSN, driven primarily by boots. And at Naturalizer retail same store sales were up nearly 1% with a slower September turning into a strong October, and that has continued into November. At Dr. Scholl's, good growth at the mid tier was offset by lower sales at the mass channel, and of course, as we've shifted the balance of this brand to a more profitable customer mix, we've seen a related improvement in gross margin. LifeStride continued to deliver sales success across the board and the brand also grew third party e commerce sales by 40% in the quarter. And for Ryk, although sales were down year over year, they're in line with our expectations. At our Contemporary Fashion brand, wholesale sales of $98.4 million were up 19.3% in the quarter, excluding sales from discontinued brands. The improvement we've seen with this platform is due to better product performance from our key brands and we should see a continuation of these trends into the fourth quarter. Sam Edelman continues to be red hot, up mid single excuse me, up mid double digits in the third quarter. Early in the fourth quarter, we launched our Sam Edelman e commerce site to rave reviews as consumers are thrilled to be finally able to buy Sam shoes directly from the source. While it's clearly very early, the site is currently performing well. And we're also pleased with the performance we're seeing with our licensed partners. Although very early and a small part of our business, it's an important part of the future expansion plan for this brand and for our Wholesale Operation. Franco Sarto had mid double digit sales in the quarter as well, up 37% with flats, casual, booties and riding boots doing well. At Carlos, boots also performed well, however, sales were down year over year, but up versus expectations. And for Fergie casual boots and dress sandals performed well, but weakness at the mid tier weighed down sales for the quarter. As Via Spiga sales are gradually improving, as we've been talking about the last couple of quarters, and we expect this brand's performance to begin to level out in the fourth quarter. So far this season, wedges, boots and booties, pointed toe pumps and flats are doing well. And we brought in a new designer for the brand, Paul Andrew. And Paul has been singled out by many top tier retailers for the debut of his own label this past spring. He is actually going to receive the Launch of the Year honors at Footwear News achievement awards this December, and he will also be able to see his first collection for Via Spiga in December at FFANY as well. Finally, our newest brand, Vince, continues to see good consumer interest with key sellers in all categories, sneakers, flats, heels and booties. So while Vince is still a small part of our Contemporary Fashion portfolio, it's growing. And by 2014, we will have doubled our number of doors, and for sure, we know this brand is really in demand by consumers as we could see last Friday when they did their IPO. This was a good quarter for all of our businesses, and we continued on the path we set out at the beginning of the year. So to reflect the better clarity we have following the biggest quarter of the year for us, we're raising our adjusted EPS guidance range to $1.36 to $1.40. You know, when we reported our second quarter earnings, we received a fair amount of grief for our realistic view of the back half. While I'm pleased we were able to modestly outperform almost all of our analyst expectations this quarter, I believe we maintained the appropriate amount of realism in terms of our guidance, based on the macro environment. And I will tell you that we're employing that same realism as we look towards the fourth quarter and beyond. As our wholesale peers and our retail partners have reported their third quarters, you heard a lot of concerns swirling around out there in terms of the promotional environment, consumer sentiment, et cetera, et cetera, et cetera, over a lot of things we don't have control over. So we're going to continue to operate as we have all year and we're going to be focused on executing the things that we have control over and try to appropriately plan for the external factors that are beyond that scope. So with that, I'd now like to turn the call over to Russ, who's going to review our financials in a little more detail around our guidance.
Get 71 Discount Nike Kobe 9 Low EM XDR Red Black,Air Jordan 11 Low IE White Metallic Silver Black While heartbroken for the victims and disappointed that such a great day was attacked, the lab worker at Fletcher Allen Health Care in Burlington, Vt. told New England Cable News that evil did not win that day. "I believe the motive was to establish fear and anger, and the amazing qualities that I saw ever since it happened up until now are the exact opposite of that," Lundy said. Now, that kindness and compassion Lundy said she has seen since the explosions continues with a gesture from RunVermont. "The running community in general is very supportive," said Leandre Waldo Johnson of RunVermont. RunVermont puts on New England's second largest marathon, the KeyBank Vermont City Marathon and relay in Burlington. The organization announced Wednesday that the Memorial Day weekend tradition will give 150 marathon slots free to people whose Boston Marathon runs were cut short. The registration fee would normally be $99 if those runners were to sign up before the end of April, and $115 if they registered in May, according to the RunVermont website. About 5,000 runners were denied the chance to finish the Boston Marathon after the explosions. "We're really hoping this is part of the beginning of the healing process for people who weren't able to finish Boston," Waldo Johnson said. "We would love those people to have the opportunity to cross our finish line." Vermont City Marathon participants and volunteers will also be asked to wear blue "Boston Strong" ribbons, Waldo Johnson said. They will be provided in pamphlets runners pick up before the race. RunVermont is investigating the possibility of selling additional blue ribbons to spectators to raise money for The One Fund, which aims to help the people most affected by the attacks on Boston. Waldo Johnson said participants and spectators will also observe a moment of silence immediately before the May 26 race. DJs are expected to play the Neil Diamond song "Sweet Caroline," which is widely identified with Boston sporting events, in a show of solidarity with the city, as well. Kristin Lundy's Boston Marathon preparations included raising $6,000 for the Dick Beardsley Foundation, which works to educate youth about chemical dependency. She told NECN she will try to participate in the Boston Marathon next year. "I would love to," Lundy said. Lundy has signed up for several other marathons over the next few weeks, and said in her training since the sport was attacked, she is beginning to find happiness again. "It felt great," she beamed, describing a recent run. In addition to RunVermont's gesture for the KeyBank Vermont City Marathon, at least one other New England marathon has offered free runs to people unable to finish the Boston Marathon because of the bombings. The 3 year old Shires of Vermont Marathon, which runs from Bennington to Manchester, says on its website that it will waive the $80 registration fee for runners who could not finish in Boston. RUNNERS COULD NOT FINISH THE BOSTON MARATHON LAST WEEK BECAUSE OF THE BOMBINGS. NOW SOME OF THEM HAVE A CHANCE TO RUN THE VERMONT CITY MARATHON FREE. THE POPULAR EVENT IS WAIVING THE FEE FOR 150 BOSTON MARATHONERS WHO WANT TO COME TO BURLINGTON. JACK THURSTON HAS MORE. Kristin Lundy's dream of completing her first Boston Marathon was shattered when the twin bombs stopped her in her tracks less than 4 tenths of a mile before the finish line. While heartbroken for the victims and disappointed such a great day was attacked Lundy insists that evil did not win that day. Now that kindness and compassion Lundy's talking about continues. New England's second largest marathon is next month the Vermont City Marathon and relay in Burlington. Organizers of the Memorial Day weekend tradition announced Wednesday they'll give 150 marathon slots free to people whose Boston Marathon runs were cut short. As for Kristin Lundy she's signed up for several other marathons over the next few weeks. And tells us in her training since the sport was attacked she's beginning to find happiness again. in Burlington, Jack Thurston, NC 5. OUR TEAM COVERAGE OF Nike Kobe 9 Low EM XDR Red Black What would Jim Thome do to get home run ball back from Twins? July 17, 2012By Everett Cook The Baltimore Sun The outfield walls at Target Field, the home of the Minnesota Twins, are lined with plants that occasionally eat home run balls. Last month, current Orioles designated hitter Jim Thome hit the 607th home run of his career while he was with the Philadelphia Phillies and seemingly lost the ball forever in the vegetation. This mattered a little bit more for Thome than it would for the regular ballplayer, because the 41 year old has been collecting every home run ball he has hit since hitting the 500th of his career in 2007. The Twins needed a harness and a brave employee to recover the ball from the depths of the plants, theoretically so they could send it over to Thome. Instead, Twins manager Ron Gardenhire is holding the ball hostage in his desk, waiting for Thome to do something nice to get No. 607 back. Which is a little weird. Gardenhire wasn specific about what he wanted, instead hoping for something creative out of the veteran slugger who has just so happened to hit 61 career home runs against Gardenhire club. From the Pioneer Press: "He's got to do something to get this ball. I know that," Gardenhire said. "He hurt our feelings. So if he wants the ball back, Jim, make my day." What does that mean? "Thrill me," Gardenhire said. "I'm not talking about on the field. I want to see something that helps one of our favorite charities." The Twins are currently 15 games under .500 and have an estimated 0.00 percent chance of making the playoffs this year. Gardenhire has to do something to keep his mind off the field, right? And it sounds like a Minnesota charity could potentially find itself a couple thousand dollars richer thanks to Thome and his hostage negotiation tactics.
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