Express Inc.’s web sales grow 4% in Q4

March 11, 2015 01:54 PM

Roughly $1 out every $5 Express Inc. generated in the fourth quarter came from the web. Even so, the youth-oriented apparel retailer’s online sales growth of 4% during the quarter was only about a fourth of the overall industry growth rate while total sales grew only 1%.

For the fiscal fourth quarter ended Jan. 31, Express, No. 96 in the Internet Retailer 2014 Top 500 Guide, reported:

  • E-commerce sales rose 4.0% to $144.3 million from $138.8 million.
  • Total sales grew 1.4% to $725.8 million from $715.9 million.
  • Comparable-store sales, including e-commerce, grew 2%.
  • Net income was $41.8 million, down 12.7% from $47.9 million.

E-commerce represented 19.9% of total sales in the fourth quarter this year versus 19.4% last year.

For the full fiscal year, Express reported:

  • E-commerce sales rose 4.0% to $354.2 million from $340.6 million.
  • Total sales fell 2.4% to $2.165 billion from $2.219 billion.
  • Comparable-store sales, including e-commerce, decreased 5%.
  • Net income was $68.3 million, down 41.4% from $116.5 million.

E-commerce represented 16.4% of total sales versus 15.3% last year.

The retailer’s sales picked up substantially during the final two weeks of December and remained strong through the balance of the fiscal quarter even though it ran fewer promotions than it did a year earlier, says David Kornberg, president and CEO. “As we reduced all-store promotional activity in January versus the prior year, we drove merchandise margin gains and positioned ourselves to begin 2015 with a better composition of spring inventory than at this time last year," he says.

The retailer invested heavily online last year and intends to continue to do so this year, said Paul Dascoli, senior vice president and chief financial officer, during a conference call with analysts. 

"We expect increased growth in our e-commerce business as we continue to invest in capabilities, as well as product expansions and e-commerce exclusives that will contribute to the business growth," he said.





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