July 25, 2003, 12:00 AM

J. Jill web-sales growth slips; eBags reports full-year profits

Web sales at apparel retailer The J. Jill Group Inc. grew 10.6% in the second quarter from Q2 2002, the company reported today. The growth represents a slowdown from Q1, when sales were 26% ahead of Q1 2002. EBags reported its first full-year profits.

Web sales at apparel retailer The J. Jill Group Inc. grew 10.6% in the second quarter from Q2 2002, reaching $18.28 million, the company reported today. The growth represents a slowdown from Q1, when sales were 26% ahead of Q1 2002. For the first half, web sales were up 17.8% over the first half of last year, hitting $35.57 million.

Total sales in the quarter were up 12.7% from Q2 last year, at $97.36 million. First half total sales grew 12.6% to $179.7 million.

Web sales accounted for 18.8% of all sales in Q2 vs. 19.1% a year ago. In the first half, web sales accounted for 19.8% of all sales vs. 18.9% a year ago.

Catalog sales in the first half declined 9.1% to $69.96 million while store sales were up a hefty 40.7%. However, retail sales per square foot were down 6% in Q2.

Net income for the quarter was $6.1 million vs. $6.4 million in the second quarter of the previous year. Net income for the six months was $6.9 million vs. $9.1 million in the previous year.

J. Jill also announced that starting next week, it will integrate its e-commerce/catalog operation with its retail division to achieve efficiencies and better coordinate marketing.

This week, online bag and luggage retailer eBags.com announced its first profitable year. EBags, which is not a public company so does not reveal details about its finances, reported that orders were up 52% for the fiscal year vs. the prior year and up 67% for its fourth quarter vs. Q4 a year ago. EBags reported that luggage, business cases, backpacks, and urban gear experienced the largest sales gains.

 

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