February 12, 2002, 12:00 AM

J. Jill’s annual web sales grow to 18% of revenue from 14%

Web sales at The J. Jill Group, retailer of women’s apparel and accessories, grew 51% to $52.8 million from $35 million a year ago, and now account for 18% of all sales vs. 14% a year ago. Total revenue for the year grew 16.5%.

Web sales at Quincy, MA-based The J. Jill Group Inc., retailer of women’s apparel and accessories, grew 51% to $52.8 million from $35 million a year ago, the company reported today. Web sales account for 18% of all sales vs. 14% a year ago. Total revenue for the year grew 16.5% to $287 million from $246.3 million. Operating income for the fiscal year was $23.5 million or 8.2% of net sales, compared to $23.4 million or 9.5% of net sales in the prior year.

At the same time its web sales are increasing dramatically, J. Jill is making a major push to become a multi-channel merchant. Its store base more than doubled from 22 to 51 during the year. Retail sales now account for 27% of sales volume vs. 11% last year. J. Jill’s first line of business was a catalog.

Gordon R. Cooke, president and CEO, says J. Jill was able to fund its store expansion entirely from the cash flower generated by the direct sales channel.

Q4 sales companywide increased 3.8% to $91.7 million from $88.4 million in the prior year. Operating income for the quarter totaled $12.4 million or 13.5% of net sales compared to $12.0 million or 13.6% of net sales in the prior year.

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