Vera Bradley struggles to keep up the web momentum

March 11, 2015 02:36 PM

E-commerce-based sales ended on a down note at fashion manufacturer and retailer Vera Bradley Inc. last year, with a 7.3% decrease. Comparable store sales decreased 20.7%.

For the year, web sales grew 3.9%. Based on an Internet Retailer estimate of $127.0 million in web sales for 2013, a 3.9% increase would result in a 2014 total of $131.9 million. Total sales fell 4% to $509 million from $530.9 million. Vera Bradley is No. 194 in the Internet Retailer 2014 Top 500 Guide.

Q4’s total sales fell to $152.6 million from $156.4 million the year before.

The company doesn’t break out e-commerce sales, but does report direct sales—purchases consumers make from the Vera Bradley web site or Vera Bradley-branded stores. Direct revenue for the year grew 4.5% to $335.6 million from $321.1 million in the prior year, thanks to the opening of 27 stores last year and the small growth in online sales.

The story was similar in the fourth quarter. Direct revenue totaled $107.7 million, virtually flat from $107.6 million in the prior year’s fourth quarter, thanks to the 27 new stores. Sales at the new stores offset the declines in comp-store sales and web sales. 




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