U.S. Auto Parts Q2 online sales decelerate by 1.1%

August 14, 2015 01:03 PM

U.S. Auto Parts Network Inc. recorded a slight dip in web sales in the second quarter as traffic and total orders declined. But there were bright spots.

U.S. Auto Parts is getting positive results from its private-label products, Neil Watanabe, chief financial officer, told analysts Tuesday on the company’s Q2 earnings call, according to a transcript by Seeking Alpha. “Our private-label business was up approximately 10% offset by our branded business being down low double digits. This builds on our initiatives to continue growing the private-label sector of our business at a faster rate than a branded category,” he said.

Private-label products accounted for 58% of sales in 2014, the company says.

The online vehicle parts and accessories merchant also reported a slight rise in conversion rate, to 1.79% from 1.76% last year. “We believe this increase in conversion is a result of our improved user experience and our lifetime value customer initiatives,” Watanabe told analysts.

CEO Shane Evangelist attributed improved customer experience, reflected in higher conversions, to two key factors. “We rolled out responsive designs on all of our flagship websites and continue to add more parts for active selling initiatives,” he told analysts.

For the second quarter ended July 4, U.S. Auto Parts, No. 136 in the Internet Retailer 2015 Top 500 Guide, reported:

  • Online sales accounted for 90.8% of total sales, or $69.4 million, down 1.1% from $70.2 million, in the second quarter of 2014, in which online sales represented 91.3% of total sales.
  • Offline sales, including the retailer’s wholesale business and private-label merchandise, accounted for 9.2%, or $7.0 million, up 4.4% from $6.7 million last year, when offline sales represented 8.7% of total sales.
  • Total sales declined about 0.6% to $76.4 million from $76.9 million.
  • Comparable-store sales increased 1.2%.
  • Net loss of $610,000, compared with a net loss of $1.6 million in the same period last year.
  • Conversion rate was up 1.7%.
  • Total e-commerce orders were 523,000, down 3.3% from 541,000.
  • Average order value was $112 compared with $113 last year.
  • Unique visitors dipped 5.2% to 29.2 million from 30.8 million.

For the first six months:

  • U.S. Auto Parts did not report online sales, but data from Q1 and Q2 filings with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission show web sales of $139.6 million, up 7.7% from $129.6 million in the first six months of 2014.
  • Total sales were $152.9 million, a 5.4% increase from $145.0 million.
  • Net loss of $1.30 million compared with a net loss of $1.98 million in the same period last year.

The web accounted for 91.3% of all sales in the first half, compared with 89.4% in the first six months of 2014.

In 2014 U.S. Auto Parts embarked on a plan to grow, its website that links consumers looking to get a vehicle repaired with a network of certified repair shops. That growth was funded when transitioned from a wholly owned subsidiary to a stand-alone company that’s two-thirds owned by U.S. Auto Parts and one-third by outside investors including Federal-Mogul Motorparts, a division of Federal-Mogul Holdings Corp., Cox Automotive Inc. and existing U.S. Auto Parts investors. The group invested about $7 million in new working capital in October.




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