April 12, 2001, 12:00 AM

Web sales help pull up Coldwater Creek results

Already at $113 million, Internet sales will exceed catalog sales this year.

Women’s apparel retailer Coldwater Creek yesterday reported that for its fiscal year ended March 3, net income dropped to $13.2 million from last year’s $13.7 million, on net sales that rose 26.8% to $458.4 million from $361.6 million the previous year.

Web sales were some of the best news in results hampered by the economic slowdown that intensified during its fourth quarter, and the cost of ramped-up promotional activity to move merchandise at discounted prices. Web sales, which rose 289% from last year, represented the company’s most profitable channel. At $113 million, Coldwater Creek’s Internet sales this year made it one of the 10 largest online apparel retailers in the world, said company officials.

Web sales accounted for approximately 30% of total sales in the fourth quarter alone, and they’re expected to overtake catalog sales this year. Online conversion rates for the year averaged 7-9%. The company expects this year to reduce its catalog costs by cutting the number of catalogs shipped by 14% to 18%, as well as reducing catalog size in some cases, as it steps up targeted e-mail campaigns in ongoing efforts to migrate more of its customers’ purchases to the web.

 

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