Chinese global e-retailer LightInTheBox cuts its loss in Q4

April 11, 2016 04:40 PM

Although sales kept declining, Chinese web-only retailer LightInTheBox Holding Co., Ltd. reported today a reduced net loss to $3.5 million in the fourth quarter of 2015 from $8.8 million in the same quarter of 2014.   

The Beijing-based company, No. 264 in the Internet Retailer 2016 Top 500, sells more than 1 million items on, mostly wedding dresses and consumer electronics products made by Chinese manufactures, to global online consumers. The company translates its website into 22 languages and operates warehouses in Europe and the United States, its two main markets, which allows it to deliver most orders in three to five days, LightInTheBox says.

The stabilizing global economy, new capital infusions and improvements in marketing and supply chain management contributed to the enhanced profitability in Q4, according to LightInTheBox.

“We are benefiting from a better macro environment in terms of currency exchange rates, as the Chinese RMB continued its moderate depreciation against the U.S. dollar during the quarter,” LightInTheBox CEO Alan Guo told analysts on a conference call, according to a transcript from  

Sales for LightInTheBox decreased 15.3% for all of 2015 and by an even higher 22.0% in the fourth quarter as the company moved away from low-performing marketing channels. The company says it reduced its marketing expenses to $20.4 million in the Q4 2015 from $28.8 million in the same quarter of 2014. It says sales were also hurt by the fall in currencies in key markets, notable Europe and Brazil, which meant sales in those markets translated to fewer U.S. dollars.

Several initiatives helped the web-only retailer improve sales during the holiday season, Guo added, including better technology to show the right products to online shoppers.

In March, LightInTheBox sold a 30% stake in the company to Zall Development Group Ltd., a Hong Kong-listed Chinese logistics and wholesaling company.   

“We welcome Zall Development as a strategic partner and a large long-term shareholder.” Guo says. “That contributed US$76.5 million in new investment, and further strength from two new board members with a successful entrepreneurial track record and extensive experience and resources in supply chain.”

Yu Gang, a joint chairman of Zall Development and former CEO of, a Chinese e-commerce subsidiary of Wal-Mart Stores Inc., will be one of the two new board members of LightInTheBox, the company says.

Wal-Mart is No. 4 in the Internet Retailer Top 500 and No. 8 in the China 500. 

Revenue from Europe decreased by 26.2% to $52.0 million, representing 59.5% of total net revenues during the fourth quarter of 2015. Revenue from North America increased by 6.1% to $26.5 million, representing 30.2% of total net revenues during the quarter, while revenue from other countries decreased by 46.1% to $9.0 million, representing 10.3% of total net revenues this quarter.

The geographic revenue shift was mainly a product of fluctuations in currency exchange rates, Guo says.

Mobile revenue increased to 37.0% of total net revenues, compared with 29.7% in the same quarter of 2014.

For the fourth quarter ended by Dec 31, 2015, LightInTheBox reported:

  • Net revenue of $87.5 million, down 22.0% from $112.1 million a year ago. Non-GAAP Net Revenue, which excludes the influence of currency rate fluctuation, were $95.9 million.
  • Net loss of $3.5 million in the fourth quarter of 2015, down 60.2% $8.8 million in the same quarter of 2014. Non-GAAP net income was $5.5 million.

For the year of 2015, LightInTheBox reported:

  • Net revenue of $323.8 million, down 15.3% from $382.4 million from in 2014. Non-GAAP Net Revenue were 366.2 million. 
  • Net loss of $39.4 million in 2015, up 31.3% from $30.0 million in the prior year. Non-GAAP net income was $7.2 million.

For more Chinese e-commerce data, please click here for the newly-released Internet Retailer 2016 China 500. 




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