Online sales buoy West Marine in Q1

May 2, 2016 09:35 AM

It was smooth sailing online for boating products and accessories retailer West Marine Products to start 2016.

West Marine, No. 326 in the Internet Retailer 2016 Top 500 Guide, reported that e-commerce accounted for 11.9% of sales in the first quarter of 2016, or $15.5 million. That’s up 31.4% from $11.8 million last year, when e-commerce accounted for 9.3% of sales.

West Marine CEO Matt Hyde told analysts on the retailer’s first quarter earnings call that the number of active customers, defined in this case as anyone who has shopped West Marine in the past 12 months, grew 6% year over year during the quarter, growth he said largely came from online shoppers.

“In the first quarter of 2016, our e-commerce team redesigned and improved our apparel pages, updated our store locator pages and added video functionality to our mobile website,” he told analysts on the call, according to a transcript from Seeking Alpha. “Additionally, the team is working behind the scenes on a significant launch that we expect to soon unveil.” Hyde didn’t give specifics, and a spokeswoman said she had no further details.

For the first quarter ended April 2, West Marine reported:

  • Sales of $130.4 million, up 2.6% from $127.1 million last year.
  • A net loss of $9.1 million, compared to a net loss of $10.3 million.
  • A comparable-store sales gain of 2.7%. 



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