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.

Kurt Peters

Executive Editor

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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