Stage Stores will roll out buy online, ship to store later this year

May 23, 2016 12:07 PM

Department store chain Stage Stores Inc. will offer a buy online, ship to store service later this year, though the closing of dozens of stores will affect the reach of that service.

Stage Stores, which also owns and operates retail brands such as Bealls, Goody’s and Palais Royal, ranks No. 439 in the Internet Retailer 2016 Top 500 Guide. It does not break out online sales in its quarterly earnings reports, but CEO Michael Glazer told analysts on the company’s earnings call for fiscal Q1 ended April 30 that online sales grew by a single-digit percentage year over year.

With online sales growing and overall sales sliding, Glazer said the company is making improvements to ensure it can effectively serve consumers shopping online and via mobile devices as well as in stores.

“We enhanced the functionality within our (mobile) app, we are improving our fulfilment capabilities and we are redesigning the navigation of our site with a plan to implement buy online, ship to store later this year,” he told analysts on the call, according to a transcript from Seeking Alpha. Glazer didn’t say when the service would start. “We know that a strong customer connection is the key for long-term growth, which is why we are focused and continue to be focused on providing our customers compelling merchandise at great values in a fun and engaging environment, both online and in stores.”

One thing is for certain, however:  There will be fewer stores to which shoppers can have online orders shipped. The company now operates 825 stores in 38 states after closing 23 last year. Glazer said the chain intends to close another 30 by the end of this year.

For the fiscal first quarter ended April 30, Stage Stores reported:

  • Net sales of $332.8 million, down 9.9% from $369.3 million last year.
  • A year-over-year comparable sales decline of 8.5%.
  • A net loss of $15.5 million, compared to a net loss of $8.6 million last year.



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