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Lifetime Brands reports lower profits as retailers close

Lifetime Brands CEO Jeffrey Siegel at the company's

Lifetime Brands CEO Jeffrey Siegel at the company's Garden City showroom on Nov. 16, 2010. Credit: Danny Ghitis

Garden City-based Lifetime Brands Inc. on Thursday reported a nearly 33 percent drop in net income, as retailers close stores due to online competition.

The impact of online shopping on retail stores is so harmful that Lifetime Brands said it “intentionally limited sales to certain retailers due to credit concerns.”

Lifetime Brands, which sells kitchenware, tableware and other products, including Farberware and KitchenAid, posted net income of $4.33 million for the quarter ended Sept. 30, compared with $6.45 million during the same quarter in 2016.

Net sales dipped by 2.45 percent from a year earlier, to less than $166 million for the quarter.

Earnings per diluted share were 29 cents for the quarter, compared with 44 cents a year earlier.

The quarter “was a challenging period for Lifetime,” Jeffrey Siegel, chairman and chief executive officer, said in a statement. The results fell below internal expectations, he said, “as retailers in the U.S. continued to close stores, reduce inventory levels, and adjust their strategies in an effort to offset the inroads that online shopping has made in their business.”

However, he said, “our e-commerce sales grew dramatically in the quarter.” If that growth continues, he said, online sales would “offset the decline in sales to traditional brick and mortar stores during 2018.”

The company’s stock closed down 5 cents to $16.65.

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