What happened

Shares of Boot Barn Holdings (BOOT 0.86%) were stepping up today after the retailer of Western-themed apparel and footwear posted better-than-expected results in its second-quarter earnings report.

The stock was up 15.3% as of 10:49 a.m. EDT.

A pair of cowboy boots

Image source: Getty Images.

So what

In a difficult environment that included store closures during the lockdown period, Boot Barn reported a comparable sales decline of 14.9%, which consisted of an in-store sales drop of 27.9% and e-commerce growth of 51.9%. Overall revenue fell 20.5% to $147.8 million, which still leaped over estimates at $137.5 million.

Management said sales rebounded briskly from the lockdowns as same-store sales improved from -45% in April to a 3% increase in June, reflecting pent-up demand for its products. Meanwhile, efforts to control costs helped the company essentially break even for the quarter, reporting a per-share loss of $0.02. That was down from a $0.33 per-share profit in the quarter a year ago, but was much better than estimates of a $0.17 per-share loss.

CEO Jim Conroy said: "I am proud of how our organization has navigated through the difficulties created by the COVID-19 pandemic. We quickly adapted our operations to meet the current needs of our customers in stores and online while taking a number of precautionary measures." He added, "We have the leading brand in our industry, an extremely loyal customer base, expanded omnichannel capabilities and a strong cash position. This combination should enable us to weather these unprecedented times and emerge even stronger post-COVID-19." 

Now what

Some of Boot Barn's biggest markets are in states like Texas, California, and Arizona, which have been hit hard by the coronavirus lately, and consequently sales have pulled back from June levels as comparable sales fell 10% in July. Nonetheless, Boot Barn, with its unique focus on Western wear, has been one of the rare success stories in apparel retail, and the June results show the customer base is eager to return as long as conditions allow.

Boot Barn stock should be able to recover to its former heights once the pandemic is over.