Garfinkel, Brooks Brothers, Miller & Rhoads, Inc., yesterday announced higher sales but lower earnings for the quarter ended April 30 at its annual stockholders meeting at the Seven Corners Garfinckel's store.
The company also unveiled a plan to double sales and at least double profits in five years.
Earnings for the quarter totaled $781,000 (18 cents a share) compared with $867,000 (20 cents) in the first quarter of last year. Sales for the quarter rose 4.7 per cent over the same period last year to $63.78 million.
Robert G. Vandemark, executive vice president for operations and finance, said that, while firstquarter earnings were down, "the first quarter of last year was tremendous, with profits up 66 per cent."
He also pointed out that the quarter had been a mixed one for all retailers, many of whom were hurt by the severe winter weather experienced in many parts of the country.
Vandemark noted that when profit is shown as a percentage of sales, the company ranked second only to Federated Department Stores among eight major department store companies.
"We are not at all pessimistic about the rest of the year," Vandemark went on. "A modest increase in sales will lead to an increase in profits."
Corporation president David R. Waters outlined the five-year plan to double sales with an equivalent or better increase in profits, including opening additional stores, acquiring additional operating companies and expanding operations beyond the quality and specialty stores the company now operates.
He pointed out that the plan assumes a stable economy with no national disasters or energy shortfalls.
The company specifically is looking for additional sites to expand Garfinckel's, both in Washington and in other cities. While company officers would offer no further details on Garfinckel's expansion plans, president William C. Detwiler said "you can definitely say we are expansion minded." He added that "our future plans will be more apparent by the end of the year."
Detwiler commented on the recent arrival of Bloomingdale's in Washington and the planned opening of two Neiman-Marcus stores in the area, saying "the market is now highly competitive and will become more so."
Earnings in 1976 were up 2.6 per cent over 1975, totaling approximately $9.68 million ($2.25 a share). The increase was due primarily to an outstanding year for Brooks Brothers. Waters said Brooks Brother Brother's improvement was due to improved management and a shift in men's fashion trends to the more conservative fashions in which Brooks Brothers specialies.
Major capital expenditures in 1976 were made to remodel existing stores, to make them more attractive and improve the efficiency of operations.