E-commerce edges up and accounts for 20% of Express’s Q4 sales
March 9, 2016 01:02 PM
E-commerce sales at Express Inc. grew 8% in the fourth quarter, outpacing the retailer’s 5% overall sales growth during the quarter. Online sales reached $156.3 million, accounting for 20.4% of $765.5 million in total Q4 sales.
Even so, online sales growth was significantly slower than the 16.7% growth rate the retailer reported in the first half of fiscal 2015.
Express is shifting from a promotion-heavy sales strategy, says David Kornberg, president and CEO of Express, No. 102 in the Internet Retailer 2015 Top 500 Guide. That shift in strategy—particularly pronounced online—kept the retailer’s e-commerce growth rate around 6% in the third quarter.
Despite the slowing growth online, Kornberg says the retailer will rely less on promotions, which is helping boost the bottom line. “We will continue to use promotions with restraint and focus on storytelling that lets our customers know what's now and that demonstrate how to create looks, which simultaneously speak to their individuality and incorporate the best styles of the season,” he said today during a conference call with analysts.
The retailer's growth online, Kornberg said, will come from improving consumers' shopping experience. "We have enormous opportunities to take advantage of segmentation and greater personalization," he said. "That could mean many things, for example, disseminating more personalized emails or delivering customized page views in response to customer searches."
For the fiscal fourth quarter ended Jan. 31, Express reported:
- E-commerce sales rose 8.3% to $156.3 million from $144.3 million.
- Total sales grew 5.5% to $765.6 million from $725.8 million.
- Comparable-store sales, including e-commerce, grew 4%.
- Net income was $56.1 million, up 34.2% from $41.8 million.
- E-commerce represented 20.4% of total sales versus 19.9% last year. E-commerce accounted for 30% of sales growth.
For the full fiscal year, Express reported:
- E-commerce sales rose 10.9% to $392.7 million from $354.2 million.
- Total sales rose 8.5% to $2.350 billion from $2.165 billion.
- Net income was $116.5 million, up 70.6% from $68.3 million.
- E-commerce represented 16.7% of total sales versus 16.4% last year.
Express is featured in the Internet Retailer 2016 Hot 100, which spotlights the most innovative online retailers. Click here to order the Hot 100.