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Oxford Industries Inc (NYSE:OXM)
Q1 2019 Earnings Call
Jun 12, 2019, 4:31 p.m. ET

Contents:

  • Prepared Remarks
  • Questions and Answers
  • Call Participants

Prepared Remarks:

Operator

Good day, everyone. Welcome to today's Oxford Industries Inc, First Quarter Fiscal 2019 Earnings Conference Call. Today's conference is being recorded. At this time, for opening remarks and introductions, I'd like to turn the floor over to Ms. Anne Shoemaker. Please go ahead, ma'am.

Anne M. Shoemaker -- Vice President-Capital Markets/Treasurer/Investor Relations

Thank you, and good afternoon. Before we begin, I would like to remind participants that certain statements made on today's call and in the Q&A session may constitute forward-looking statements within the meaning of the Federal Securities Laws. Forward-looking statements are not guarantees, and actual results may differ materially from those expressed or implied in the forward-looking statements. Important factors that could cause actual results of operation or our financial condition to differ are discussed in our press release issued earlier today and in documents filed by us with the SEC, including the risk factors contained in our Form 10-K. We undertake no duty to update any forward-looking statements.

During this call, we will be discussing certain non-GAAP financial measures. You can find a reconciliation of non-GAAP to GAAP financial measures in our press release issued earlier today which is posted under the Investor Relations tab of our website at oxfordinc.com. Please note that all financial results and outlook information discussed on this call, unless otherwise noted are from continuing operation and all per share amounts are on a diluted basis.

Our disclosures about comparable store sales include sales from our full-price stores and e-commerce sites and excludes sales associated with outlet stores and e-commerce flash clearance sale.

And now, I'd like to introduce today's call participants. With me today are Tom Chubb, Chairman and CEO; and Scott Grassmyer, CFO.

Thank you for your attention. And now I'd like to turn the call over to Tom Chubb.

Thomas C. Chubb III -- Chairman, Chief Executive Officer and President

Thank you for joining us this afternoon. Our first quarter results represent a very good start to the year as both sales and earnings exceeded our expectations. These solid results exemplify the successful execution of the Oxford's strategy to own, develop and use powerful emotional brands like Tommy Bahama, Lilly Pulitzer and Southern Tide to deliver value to our shareholders. While we are very pleased with our recent performance, our focus remains firmly on the future. We are confident that the steps we've taken to build a strong foundation by judiciously adding and pruning businesses over time will allow us to achieve our long term goals. As the consumers' shopping behavior continues to evolve, we believe the way we have positioned our brands in the marketplace has created important competitive advantages. In particular, we have maintained a disciplined, well-managed approach to the distribution of our products which not only protects and strengthens our brands but also ensures our customer can experience our brands where, when and how he or she wants.

I'll start with direct to consumer. This is our largest and fastest growing channel of distribution and we just delivered our ninth consecutive quarter of positive comparable sales. This business has two components, bricks and mortar and e-commerce. Our selection of bricks and mortar locations has been very carefully curated, and across the enterprise, we operate only 230 stores worldwide. The locations we select reflect the very nature of our Tommy Bahama and Lilly Pulitzer brands. They are generally in lifestyle centers that offer beautiful open air shopping and dining experiences on streets and boulevards that are destinations in and of themselves and in resorts which epitomize the essence of our brands.

Less than half of our 174 domestic full-price stores are located in regional malls all of which are better malls that attract an affluent consumer. We enhance the guest experience in our physical locations by providing beautiful unique stores, superior in-store service and in 17 Tommy Bahama locations a compelling bar and restaurant. Importantly, we still have opportunities for prudent bricks and mortar expansion particularly with the Tommy Bahama Marlin Bar concept, the westward geographic expansion of Lilly Pulitzer and the potential rollout of Southern Tide stores.

At the same time, our e-commerce business continues to drive our direct to consumer comps and grow as a percentage of Oxford's total revenue, now at 21%. We posted strong first quarter results with comparable sales improving sequentially through the quarter and ending on a very strong note in April. Lilly Pulitzer led the charge with e-commerce comps in the low double-digits. With our high average ticket and a high gross margin, e-commerce is a very profitable channel and we see its continued growth as a key to Oxford's continued success.

On the wholesale front, we have been equally strategic in taking measures that strengthen our brands for the long term. We have developed meaningful partnerships with specialty retailers, signature stores and select department stores that demonstrate their ability to support our strong pricing discipline and cadence.

Excluding Lanier Apparel, our presence in department stores has purposefully been reduced over time and now represents about 10% of our total revenue. As department stores continue to adjust the changes in the marketplace, we believe our lack of dependence on this channel for our Tommy Bahama, Lilly Pulitzer, and Southern Tide brands further differentiate Oxford from its peers.

As with anyone in our business, a successful end-of-season clearance strategy is essential. We focus on ensuring the integrity of our brands with a well-controlled approach that limits the availability of our products at reduced prices. At Tommy Bahama, we operate 130 full-price retail locations and only 37 outlet stores worldwide. These outlets function as true clearance locations. The overwhelming majority of the product in our outlets is prior season liquidation merchandise that has been transferred from full-price locations.

At Lilly Pulitzer, we leverage the brand's e-commerce site by going on sale just five days a year. These flash sales which occur in the third and fourth quarters clear the bulk of Lilly's prior season goods at prices that generate gross margin in excess of 40% and are accretive to Lilly's operating margin.

Finally, we have good relationships with the wholesale off-price partners who can quickly clear any Tommy Bahama, Lilly Pulitzer and Southern Tide residual inventory we may have.

With well-managed inventory and low leverage, our balance sheet is enviable. We will continue to make investing in the growth of the lifestyle brands we own on priority. We also continue to vet acquisition opportunities and remain committed to our dividend policy as a vehicle for returning value directly to shareholders.

In recent months, our sector has been impacted by the uncertainty of proposed tariffs on goods produced in China. Scott will discuss this in more detail, but I wanted to take a minute to remind listeners of Oxford's heritage. Our Company has been sourcing product all over the world since the early 1970s. Our sourcing teams are experienced and nimble. Our negotiations with producers in China have been going well and we have confidence in our ability to find excellent alternatives outside of China as needed. Our long-term approach and the strength of our brands and balance sheet, our competitive advantages can give us the stability and means to be successful in all types of market conditions. We have iconic brands, experienced leadership, a talented workforce, and the financial resources to continue to deliver long-term growth and profitability.

I'll now turn the call over to Scott for more details on our results and plans for the rest of 2019.

Scott Grassmyer -- Executive Vice President of Finance, Chief Financial Officer and Controller

Thanks Tom. As Tom mentioned, we had strong first quarter results which exceeded the top end of our sales and earnings guidance. After a weak February, both March and April came on strong, and we ended the quarter with a plus 2% comp growth that included positive comps of both Tommy Bahama and Lilly Pulitzer.

As planned, an increased proportion of our sales in the first quarter were from Lanier Apparel. This business, which is almost entirely wholesale, has significantly lower gross margins than our other businesses. While this pulled down our consolidated gross margin, it had a positive effect on our consolidated SG&A as a percent of sales.

During the first quarter, Lilly Pulitzer's gross margin was 63%. This is a strong margin and came in slightly above our plan. It was however lower than the same period last year. This was mainly due to increased off-priced wholesale sales as we cleared goods that remained after a January clearance sale leaving Lilly Pulitzer's inventory at quarter end in an excellent shape.

Lilly Pulitzer's gift with purchase events have proven to be very successful tools in driving additional sales. Lilly Pulitzer continues to excite and engage customers by varying the cadence of the events, the reach required to obtain a gift and the gifts themselves. During the first quarter, the team at Lilly Pulitzer increased the number of gift with purchase events and enhanced the quality and appeal of the gifts offered, both of which drove sales, but put some pressure on gross margin.

Our focus on expanding Tommy Bahama's operating margin continued to generate results. Tommy's operating margin expanded 40 basis points driven by improvements in both gross margin and SG&A leverage. Our balance sheet and capital structure remain very strong and support our growth initiatives and investments.

As we reported on a LIFO basis, inventories increased 19% to $157 million. On a FIFO basis, after adding back the $62 million LIFO reserve, the increase was 13%. We believe our increased inventory level positions as well for planned growth in our branded businesses in the second quarter including the operation of additional stores and higher stock levels or in high performing key items.

We also have higher inventory of Lanier Apparel as we have increased the replenishment stop which was below optimal levels for most of 2018. This quarter, we adopted the new lease accounting guidance which has -- which resulted in us recognizing significant operating leased assets and liabilities, but had no material impact on our earnings or cash flow statement.

Turning to our outlook, we are initiating guidance for the second quarter of fiscal '19. We were pleased with our comps in May which were slightly positive against a very robust double-digit comp last year. June has been stronger with month-to-date positive comps at both Tommy and Lilly and we expect to have the low single-digit comps for the quarter. We expect net sales to be between $300 million and $310 million in the second quarter compared to sales of $303 million in the same period last year.

Adjusted earnings per share are expected to be between $1.80 and $1.90 compared to $1.83 in the second quarter last year. This guidance reflects the estimated impact of a higher effective tax rate year-over-year in the second quarter of fiscal 2019. Our third quarter remains our smallest sales and earnings quarter due to the seasonality of our Tommy Bahama and Lilly Pulitzer direct to consumer operations. Therefore, we expect our third quarter earnings to be comparable to last year and expect to see meaningful direct to consumer growth in the fourth quarter.

We have affirmed our outlook for the full year with sales expected to grow to between $1.135 billion and $1.155 billion in fiscal 2019 and adjusted earnings per share in a range of $4.45 to $4.65. This compares to net sales of $1.107 billion in fiscal 2018 and adjusted earnings of $4.32 per share. To date, enacted tariff increases have had little impact on our business. However, apparel, shoes and other products are included on the newest proposed list to which a 25% punitive tariff would be applied if they go into effect. While our guidance reflects the cost of tariffs at the currently enacted rates, we are actively working on mitigating the potential risk of the proposed additional tariffs.

I thought it might be helpful to walk you through an example of how additional tariffs could impact our business. A shirt which sells for $100 at retail would have approximately $20 of duty-evoked cost subject to the additional 25% tariff, that is currently under consideration. So we are left with about $5 of additional cost to mitigate for goods sourced from China. We are taking a multi-pronged approach to address the potential additional cost. First, we have continued to move production out of China to other countries such as Vietnam, Thailand, India and Peru. Our sourcing from China has decreased and we expect continued reductions in the future. For our products sourced in China, we have accelerated the delivery of fall product and have also had success in negotiating price reductions from factories. Finally, our brands have good pricing power with consumers and we are planning selective price increases.

For fiscal 2019, our interest expense is expected to be approximately $2 million, and our effective tax rate is expected to be approximately 26%. Capital expenditures including $8 million in the first quarter are expected to be between $45 million and $50 million in fiscal 2019. This will primarily consist of investments in information technology initiatives, new retail stores and Marlin bars and investments to remodel existing retail stores and restaurants.

Kelly, we are now ready for questions.

Questions and Answers:

Operator

Thank you. (Operator Instructions) We'll hear first today from Rick Patel with Needham and Company.

Rick Patel -- Needham and Company -- Analyst

Hi, good afternoon, guys. Good afternoon Tom and nice rebound following the soft February and good to see that it continued into 2Q here. I'm hoping you can walk us through some of the puts and takes as we think about the comp performance in 1Q and early 2Q. Do you feel the environment improved or do you see it as more a function of strategic actions you took to address that softness? And how does that inform your strategy as you think about the rest of the year?

Thomas C. Chubb III -- Chairman, Chief Executive Officer and President

I think it was a combination of both, to answer your question, I think that there were some external factors that impacted the flow of the quarter. So what happened was those, you know, based on our call in March, February was very soft for us. At the time, we talked in March we'd seen some improvement. We're optimistic that the weather was turning in that with the later Easter and passover holidays that we would see continued lift through March and on into April and that's the way it played out. So as the quarter progressed, we got progressively stronger. And some of that I think was the weather in the earlier part of the quarter. Some of it was the calendar itself with the later holidays and then some of it I think was the way that we played to those holidays. So I think we certainly made a strong play toward the holidays. We may have left ourselves a little bit of a gap in February and that's something that in future years when we have holidays falling late, I think we'll be more cognizant of how to build a stronger February business, and then in May, as Scott mentioned, we did have a positive comp, that was against a very strong double-digit comp last May. On top of that, this May, we had it was a small comp, very small comp, but it was positive then against again against a strong double-digit comp, last year. So we think it's pretty good May, it was when you got that type of comparison to have a positive comp, we were pretty pleased with it. Then in June, business has gotten a bit stronger and sort of looking out as to what we've got for the rest of the quarter, we're anticipating a low single-digit comp for the quarter.

Rick Patel -- Needham and Company -- Analyst

Great. And also a question on digital, so very nice to see continued outperformance there. I know you weren't thrilled with your e-commerce execution late last year. So do you feel like you rebounded from that at this point or does that remain a work in progress?

Thomas C. Chubb III -- Chairman, Chief Executive Officer and President

Yeah. Look, we're really happy with the way the Lilly Pulitzer e-commerce business is performing right now. We're comping as we said first quarter we have a double-digit comp in Lily Pulitzer e-com. We think that's a great place to be, that's not to say that we're not trying to continue to improve the customer experience on our website both at Lilly and elsewhere. And that's something that we will always be striving to do. But yes, I would say we're -- whereas in fourth quarter or last year we were modestly disappointed with what we were able to achieve there. I think we're very happy with what we've seen so far this year.

Rick Patel -- Needham and Company -- Analyst

Thank you very much.

Thomas C. Chubb III -- Chairman, Chief Executive Officer and President

Okay, thanks a lot, Rick.

Operator

We'll hear next from Ross Licero with Telsey Advisory Group.

Ross Licero -- Telsey Advisory Group -- Analyst

Hi. Thanks for taking my question and congratulations on the quarter.

Thomas C. Chubb III -- Chairman, Chief Executive Officer and President

Of course, thank you.

Ross Licero -- Telsey Advisory Group -- Analyst

Just a question on the third and fourth quarter you said that 3Q should be about flat year-over-year for earnings and 4Q you should see some acceleration in the DTC business. I guess what's driving the growth in fourth quarter versus third quarter?

Thomas C. Chubb III -- Chairman, Chief Executive Officer and President

Yeah, look, as we get more and more direct to consumer and I'll let Scott walk you through this in a second, but as we get more and more direct to consumer, you have more and more fixed cost. Third quarter is a naturally small quarter for us because by our -- the sort of spring/summer orientation of our brands, so you have a deleveraging effect during that quarter against the fixed expense structure, and that means that earnings tend to be weak. We get kind of the inverse of that in the fourth quarter which is a big retail quarter, a big direct to consumer quarter and as we get more direct, we do even more business and then forward comping positively, it just adds to that. So fourth quarter is going to tend to get probably more profitable and third quarter is going to tend to continue to add pressure on it. And Scott, I don't know if you want to --

Scott Grassmyer -- Executive Vice President of Finance, Chief Financial Officer and Controller

Yeah, (inaudible) we'll have, we're opening three Marlin bars that should open in the fourth quarter, so we'll have those going for us. And remember, Lilly, in particular, we had, you know, a somewhat disappointing fourth quarter last year and I think we're -- certainly had a lot of learnings from that and a different purchase cadence which I think we've kind of proven we figured that out and improve that. And then the website as Tom mentioned is certainly our e-commerce business at Lilly has gotten a lot stronger, so it was not particularly strong in the fourth quarter last year. So I think we have (inaudible) for us also.

Ross Licero -- Telsey Advisory Group -- Analyst

Okay. Great. Thanks. And on the Tommy Bahama side, how are the flip side rewards promotion doing there? We noticed you had another one going on right now. And also there's -- it looks like there's no free shipping on tommybahama.com but there is on Lilly. Is there any plans to change that?

Thomas C. Chubb III -- Chairman, Chief Executive Officer and President

I think we do have free shipping and we heard up until 2 o'clock today --

Scott Grassmyer -- Executive Vice President of Finance, Chief Financial Officer and Controller

And right now, we have free expedited shipping for Father's Day, because Father's Day is a big holiday and as far as the cards, Father's Day, we're running up through to Father's Day, so it's kind of early to conclude on this event. But these are important events and so far so good.

Ross Licero -- Telsey Advisory Group -- Analyst

Okay, great, thanks.

Operator

And from B Riley, we'll hear from Susan Anderson.

Thomas C. Chubb III -- Chairman, Chief Executive Officer and President

Hi Susan.

Susan Anderson -- B Riley -- Analyst

Hi, good evening. Hi. Thanks for taking my question. Nice job on the quarter, especially given a pretty tough start out there.

Thomas C. Chubb III -- Chairman, Chief Executive Officer and President

Thank you.

Susan Anderson -- B Riley -- Analyst

I was really wanting to ask on Tommy also, just gets more on the women's business. If you could talk about the performance there, are you continuing to see some strength and maybe just talk about the products that are working well this past quarter and in the second quarter. And then also I think you had some mailers going out and I think that was helping to drive her into the store for herself. Maybe if you could talk about that too.

Thomas C. Chubb III -- Chairman, Chief Executive Officer and President

Yes. So we had a really good quarter in women's in Tommy Bahama. In fact, a lot our positives came out of the women's business and the particular products that worked well are things that have been perennial strengths of Tommy Bahama women's and that's dresses and swimwear. And this spring, again, those were probably two of the stronger product categories. So they had a good quarter, it was I think the probably the strongest Q1 we've ever had in women's in Tommy Bahama and we think some of the things we're doing on the marketing side not just the mailers, those are great, but also the overall marketing messages, the website, the emails we're trying to do a better job of communicating to women about our women's product. And I think it's working. So we're really pleased with that. Then we had some great products success in men's as well, if you remembered, we told you at the beginning of the year that we wanted to emphasize certain core products like the Boracay Pant, the new Newport Coast Nen's Woven Shirt and then we've got this great new Polo called the Palm Coast Polo that's turned in to a runaway success for us. And that is a true Performance Polo. So it's styled like a very nice looking gentlemen's polo, but it's absolutely got the very best of all the performance wicking features, quick dry, all that type of technology which is so important in the marketplace today. And it's at a very strong price point, it's at $115 and we're selling them at a very rapid rate right now. So we've been really pleased to see that.

Susan Anderson -- B Riley -- Analyst

Great, that's good to hear. And then maybe it's follow-up on because the wholesale business trajectory as we look at the second half, are you seeing, we've seen some kind of weak results from some of the department stores. So are you seeing any of these guys pull back on orders at all or how are you guys thinking about the wholesale business especially going into the back half?

Thomas C. Chubb III -- Chairman, Chief Executive Officer and President

Well I think our our forecast for a wholesale for the year overall is pretty much held. I do think we see some evidence of the weakness in Lanier clothes, even though we had a really good shipping quarter I think we've seen them slow down their receipts of replenishment programs a little bit which I think would be indicative of some of their overall concerns about health of the business, but I think our wholesale forecast is holding up for the most part.

Susan Anderson -- B Riley -- Analyst

Great. And then one last one if I could fit in there, a lot of good information on the China sourcing. Thanks for that. I was wondering if maybe you had an updated penetration of where your sourcing is at versus last year. And you mentioned a lot of good things to help mitigate the tariffs if they actually go into effect. But I get those curious if you had an idea of how much of the 25% you would be able to mitigate if that happened?

Thomas C. Chubb III -- Chairman, Chief Executive Officer and President

Yes. So first of all, I think Scott's example was very important because that 25% on a $100 selling price item translates to about $5 typically would be the way you would think about it. So that's the kind of bogey that we've got to mitigate. And then I would say that our teams have responded extremely well. They've been very active and aggressive in sort of hitting this problem head on.

Of course, it is not a live problem yet, but it certainly could be within the next month or six weeks and so we've taken aggressive action and been very proactive about it and the really four things that we've done we've moved product out of China. We've made substantial progress on that, last year in '18, we were at about 54%, I can't tell you the exact number for '19 but it'll be materially less than it was last year.

Secondly, we have accelerated the delivery of a lot of fall '19 product get ahead of the tariffs and avoid on altogether. Thirdly, as both Scott and I mentioned, during the prepared remarks, we've been very proactive and aggressive in our negotiations with vendors about getting them to share in the cost of any tariffs that end up being assessed, if they are assessed and have had good success with that.

And finally, we have identified places where we can do some price increases to further mitigate the tariffs. The last thing I would mention to you Susan and this is I think obvious to you, but timing makes a difference. Every day that goes by we're getting further in our mitigation efforts. So while we'd love to see the tariffs never imposed, a delay is also a good thing for us because if it gets stretched out weeks or months, that just gives us more time to mitigate, but all in all, there's no doubt that if tariffs get imposed, it will be, you know, it'll have some impact on our earnings for this year. We would expect that impact to be significantly smaller in the first half of next year and then beyond the first half of next year we expect to be operating really as normal again to basically fully mitigated the impact of tariffs.

Susan Anderson -- B Riley -- Analyst

Great. That's very helpful. Thanks so much. Good luck you guys next quarter.

Thomas C. Chubb III -- Chairman, Chief Executive Officer and President

Okay. Thanks a lot.

Operator

We'll hear next from Paul Lejuez with Citigroup.

Thomas C. Chubb III -- Chairman, Chief Executive Officer and President

Hi, Paul.

Operator

Paul, you may have us on mute.

Tracy Kogan -- Citigroup -- Analyst

I'm sorry about that, it's Tracy Kogan filling in for Paul. I had two questions. The first is on your store count. You mentioned having the potential for some additional bricks and mortar stores and I was wondering what is your ultimate store potential that you think you can have for each of your brands? And also how that breaks out between outlet and full pricing? And then secondly, I wondered in the first quarter how at Tommy outlet stores performed versus your full-price stores? Thanks.

Scott Grassmyer -- Executive Vice President of Finance, Chief Financial Officer and Controller

Yeah, for the Tommy, our focus now is mainly on Marlin bars. We really like the food and beverage component mixed with the retail, while we had good success in a couple of those we have and in full service bars and restaurants stores we have. But we really like the mall and bar concept just because of it's not as capital intensive, it's not as labor intensive and it's not as rent intensive and it pushes traffic to the retail store which is critical.

So Tommy, our cadence of opening stores is much less than it was in the past. But the locations we're opening will be much more meaningful, and so at Tommy, we'll -- I think we'll get four stores open this year and three of them will be Marlin bars. As we mentioned, we only have 37 outlets worldwide. We really don't see that number moving materially. We'll probably have some closures and Tommy's might open an outlet but we don't really see that number moving up much, but Tommy still has, I think there's some good opportunities for Marlin bars, a lot of locations where one would work it takes getting the right location within the center so we have the room for a patio space which usually lends itself to the corner locations. But we're -- and that pipeline it's filling up and we'll get three this year. We've got at least two on the books for now. Next year, we still have a couple other possible opportunities. So that'll be the emphasis there. At Lilly, we started our westward expansion with -- we have a store in Maui and we have a store in Newport Beach California. And we're very happy with the way it's going now and I think there'll be additional opportunities in the West Coast and Hawaii and some more in the East Coast also.

We were opening four to six a year, this year, I think we'll probably only get the one open which is in Newport Beach, but I think next year we would probably back to a more normal cadence in that four-ish, five-ish range at Lilly and I think that can go on for quite a while.

Southern Tide, we are heavily exploring the store rollouts and we believe it's likely, hope it will be next year, but we think it's very likely we are looking at certain locations and I think Southern Tide it's hard to put a number on Southern Tide right now since we don't have any company owned yet. But the signature stores I believe we have 18 signature stores -- excuse me-- 14 signature stores and we're pleased with those, I think it's lending itself to being able to tell us that Southern Tide is ready for retail. So I think we will start opening some Southern Tide stores and we'll probably start on coastal areas and then move from there. So I think that's a big growth opportunity for us also.

Tracy Kogan -- Citigroup -- Analyst

Great, thank you, and then the full price versus outlet performance at Tommy this quarter?

Scott Grassmyer -- Executive Vice President of Finance, Chief Financial Officer and Controller

Full price was stronger, our outlets were a little bit weaker and I think that led traffic just I think there's been more traffic pressures at outlets with -- you don't really have to go to an outlet to get a deal anymore and that's why we're so much believe in our strategy of not having outlets where we make a bunch of goods for outlets and have -- there's a lot of people have more outlets than full-price stores. We think our ratios are very much in line. It's a primary clearance channels. The better outlet team to perform better and we are in good outlet centers. We're glad we're not in a bunch of B and C outlet centers, we tend to be in the A outlet centers which perform better but outlet traffic has been down.

Thomas C. Chubb III -- Chairman, Chief Executive Officer and President

And I would add to that -- and I don't think you were really following us a couple of years ago better in our outlets we got into a situation where we were overstuffed with inventory and gross margins were kind of headed in the wrong direction. Our gross margin performance and our inventory position in outlets is right where it ought to be. It's really just the traffic that's a little bit of an issue and suppressed the performance a little bit this quarter, but we're otherwise pleased with the way they are running.

Tracy Kogan -- Citigroup -- Analyst

Got it. Thank you. Good luck guys.

Thomas C. Chubb III -- Chairman, Chief Executive Officer and President

Okay. Thanks a lot, Tracy.

Operator

We'll go next to CL King & Associates, Steve Marotta.

Steve Marotta -- CL King & Associates -- Analyst

Good evening, everybody. I just wanted to ask about the inventory 13% increase in FIFO, you mentioned that this is planned investments as well as store openings. Just want to verify that inventory levels at the end of the quarter were within your expectations and that aged inventory has an increase if you could maybe peel the onion back one more layer?

Scott Grassmyer -- Executive Vice President of Finance, Chief Financial Officer and Controller

Yeah. It's definitely within our expectations. Lilly, we moved the goods left out from the flash sale. The biggest thing I think Lanier where we were really too low last year and we're really not fulfilling replenishment at our expectation levels. And we needed to build up that inventory. So we build it up and -- but we were -- most of last year a bit below where we needed to be. And then Tommy, we've got some really great key items and those are items where we have taken a little bit higher inventory position last year on the Boracay

pant, we were chasing all year, we were missing sales because we're breaking and that -- as that program accelerated, we were having trouble staying in stock and I think we've rectified that and we have some other good key item programs that we were just taking a little bit higher inventory position on those, but we feel good about our inventory levels and certainly think anything that is older is marked down appropriately.

Steve Marotta -- CL King & Associates -- Analyst

That's great, thank you. And regarding CapEx investments this year, can you talk a little bit about IT initiatives that these targets and what capabilities that will bring you?

Thomas C. Chubb III -- Chairman, Chief Executive Officer and President

Well, I think a good example of -- they're really all about trying to enhance the guest experience. That's the primary focus and integrate retail and e-commerce channels and a great example of that is something that we're doing in Tommy Bahama to try to make the inventory -- any inventory in the system fundamentally readily available to any consumer or store associate wherever they are in the system and we just are in the test phase with a couple of stores now where they're now able to easily and on an unabated basis access not just the inventory that's in their particular store but also what's in the distribution center, we'll then extend that to be enabled to look to other stores. These are all things that we could do before, but not on an automated basis, it was very labor intensive and clunky and difficult and time consuming and so we're automating these things. And that's just one example. But those are the types of things that we're investing in to try to have the best experience the guest can possibly have. We've also got a huge initiative in Tommy Bahama to modernize our system in our distribution center to facilitate the modern sort of shape of our business. It also does things like helps with labor cost management and a lot of other things that will improve the functionality of our distribution center.

Steve Marotta -- CL King & Associates -- Analyst

Very helpful. Thank you.

Operator

We'll hear next from Michael Kawamoto with D.A. Davidson.

Michael Kawamoto -- D.A. Davidson -- Analyst

Yeah. Hey guys thanks for taking my question and congrats on a good start to the year.

Thomas C. Chubb III -- Chairman, Chief Executive Officer and President

Thank you, Michael.

Michael Kawamoto -- D.A. Davidson -- Analyst

Yeah. So just just to start off, so how should we be thinking about the comp cadence for later this year. Is it safe to say the tougher comp in 3Q and maybe a little easier in 4Q and then outside of the comp, what are your expectations for the flash sale this year?

Scott Grassmyer -- Executive Vice President of Finance, Chief Financial Officer and Controller

Yeah, I think, fourth quarter, it really should be a little bit easier comp. Just because of some of the problems we had. Third quarter, yeah, maybe a little tougher but it's such a small quarter that it's the direct to consumer business is just not as meaningful in that quarter. The big thing in that quarter is the flash sale, we're finding the flash sales somewhat flattish, so we were pleased with the sale we did last year, but we don't really wanted to get a lot bigger. So as long as we can continue to sell through a net positive comps, we should not have inventory that would have a need for that sale to get bigger. So kind of flattish flash sales right now.

Michael Kawamoto -- D.A. Davidson -- Analyst

Got it. And then, was the January flash sale little smaller than planned just given the extra sales to the off-price wholesale channel or with that pretty much how you -- how you planned?

Scott Grassmyer -- Executive Vice President of Finance, Chief Financial Officer and Controller

Yeah, it was pretty much as planned and we just -- I think just probably a little bit more of it, we always sell off to the off-price channel, so they are partly off site, off-price channels after the sale and majority of that went in the first quarter of this year where sometimes some of it goes in the fourth and first. Little bit went in the fourth. I think a little bit more in the first.

Michael Kawamoto -- D.A. Davidson -- Analyst

Okay, that's helpful, and then just lastly on the newer Lilly stores and (inaudible) in Newport Beach. Can you just talk about the product acceptance in those markets? Are those consumers gravitating toward the bold Bowie patterns or is it more solid? And then what percent of your sales for Lilly occur call it west of Mississippi, just curious.

Thomas C. Chubb III -- Chairman, Chief Executive Officer and President

What percent of them occur, what?

Michael Kawamoto -- D.A. Davidson -- Analyst

West of Mississippi (multiple speakers)

Thomas C. Chubb III -- Chairman, Chief Executive Officer and President

I don't know off the top of my head but it's going to be a pretty small percentage. California is -- comes up pretty high on our e-commerce list of top states. But when you look at that, you always have to remember that they have a huge population out there. So, while they're only one of 50 states, they have an outsized share of the population. But it's going to be a pretty small fraction that occurs west of the Mississippi. In terms of the consumer acceptance of the product, it's been good. In Southern California, I think we're finding a fair number of people who know the Lilly brand, maybe they're East Coast transplants or spent time in the East and have been introduced to the brand before and yeah they are buying the traditional Lilly products there. It's been very exciting to see. In Hawaii, we're definitely introducing the brand to a lot of new people who have not -- who are new to it, which is great too. A lot of them are actually from California that we see in Hawaiian stores. So that, I think it's a nice -- we see that kind of rebound effect between South Florida, West Florida, in particular in the Midwest. And I think we may see some of that too where you have people from the West Coast or down in Hawaiian vacation, then go home, and remember the Lilly brand that they saw while they were in Hawaii.

Michael Kawamoto -- D.A. Davidson -- Analyst

Got it. Thanks so much for your time and good luck for the rest of the year.

Thomas C. Chubb III -- Chairman, Chief Executive Officer and President

Thank you.

Operator

We'll hear next from Edward Yruma with KeyBanc Capital Markets.

Edward Yruma -- KeyBanc Capital Markets -- Analyst

Hey, good afternoon. Thanks for squeezing me in guys. First on the clearance merchandise you had at wholesale at Lilly. I guess trying to dimensionalize how large that was an impact to margin and then I guess as a kind of broader philosophy, should we expect that we see that going forward or are you able to kind of better balance with the flash sales? And then second as a follow-up, how should we think about Lilly Pulitzer margins based on kind of the annual guide that you've given us? Thanks.

Scott Grassmyer -- Executive Vice President of Finance, Chief Financial Officer and Controller

The wholesale off-price -- at Lilly, we had a few million of wholesale off-price sales and they're very very low gross margins. But you've got to remember how big that flash sale is. So it's we're still selling through that flash sale over 80% of the product that we need to clear, so these flash sales are doing their job. We did have more inventory last year, so the January sale was I think $17 million that was $12 million year before I believe.

And so it was just more inventory. We sold more through the flash sale but we just had more we had to clear as I mentioned earlier a little bit more of it went -- crossed over the first quarter, we shipped some out in the fourth quarter last year and some in the first quarter. So a little bit more split out to the first quarter this year, but that's kind of typical, just a bigger more inventory a little bit of it shift that we do it's normal cadence to go to the third party off price with whatever the residual is in the flash sale.

Edward Yruma -- KeyBanc Capital Markets -- Analyst

And then the Lilly margins that are embedded in guidance?

Scott Grassmyer -- Executive Vice President of Finance, Chief Financial Officer and Controller

The operating margins or gross margins?

Edward Yruma -- KeyBanc Capital Markets -- Analyst

The op margins.

Scott Grassmyer -- Executive Vice President of Finance, Chief Financial Officer and Controller

The op margin, kind of flattish for that last year, we were 17.5% last year, so somewhere in that general ballpark maybe down just a little bit. But as we did have a little bit more than wholesale off-price but not pretty close to last year.

Edward Yruma -- KeyBanc Capital Markets -- Analyst

Got it. And maybe just the final bigger picture question, have you guys sighted maybe the impacts with the holiday shifts. And whether -- you also have a fairly affluent customers, so I guess have you seen do you think any kind of impact if it's from news flow perspective or an impact on tourism? Thank you.

Thomas C. Chubb III -- Chairman, Chief Executive Officer and President

I think we feel pretty good about the consumer overall, I mean it's been -- this first quarter was a little bit hard difficult quarter to read just because of -- and the weather was pretty bad in a lot of places for a long time and then you had the extreme holiday shift but at the times where we really wanted and needed them to show up, the consumer was there. I mean you look at our results and they ended up being pretty strong after being in a pretty big hole in February.

And on the tourism question, Ed, I think a lot of people talk about international tourism being down, that's never been, as you know, a huge part of our our business and our customer base. So we don't necessarily see that quite as much.

Scott Grassmyer -- Executive Vice President of Finance, Chief Financial Officer and Controller

I think a lot of the people who rely on outlet stores a lot are really filling in. As we mentioned earlier, we're fairly limited on the number of outlets. So we're really selling it there severely.

Edward Yruma -- KeyBanc Capital Markets -- Analyst

Got it. Thanks so much guys.

Thomas C. Chubb III -- Chairman, Chief Executive Officer and President

Okay. Thanks, Ed.

Operator

And at this time, I'd like to turn things back to Tom Chubb for closing remarks.

Thomas C. Chubb III -- Chairman, Chief Executive Officer and President

Okay, thank you very much for your interest. We look forward to talking to you again after Labor Day. Have a great summer.

Operator

That will conclude today's conference. Again, thank you all for joining us.

Duration: 49 minutes

Call participants:

Anne M. Shoemaker -- Vice President-Capital Markets/Treasurer/Investor Relations

Thomas C. Chubb III -- Chairman, Chief Executive Officer and President

Scott Grassmyer -- Executive Vice President of Finance, Chief Financial Officer and Controller

Rick Patel -- Needham and Company -- Analyst

Ross Licero -- Telsey Advisory Group -- Analyst

Susan Anderson -- B Riley -- Analyst

Tracy Kogan -- Citigroup -- Analyst

Steve Marotta -- CL King & Associates -- Analyst

Michael Kawamoto -- D.A. Davidson -- Analyst

Edward Yruma -- KeyBanc Capital Markets -- Analyst

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