May 5, 2004, 12:00 AM

J. Jill’s web sales up 11%, but fail to keep pace with store sale growth

Web-based sales at The J. Jill Group Inc. increased 10.7% in the most recent quarter to $19.14 million from $17.29 million a year ago, the company reported today. Companywide sales were up 21.3% to $99.9 million from $82.3 million a year ago.

 

Web-based sales at The J. Jill Group Inc. increased 10.7% in the most recent quarter to $19.14 million from $17.29 million a year ago, the company reported today. Companywide sales were up 21.3% to $99.9 million from $82.3 million a year ago. The web accounted for 19.1% of sales in the quarter vs. 20.9% a year earlier. Catalog sales during the period declined 10.6% to $29.6 million from $32.8 million.

Store sales were up 60% to $50.2 million from $31.4 million a year ago. Comparable store sales were up 23.5% for the quarter vs. a year ago.

The company posted net income for the quarter of $2.2 million vs. $768,000 in the first quarter of last year.

"Since early February, we have experienced an extremely positive response to our regular price spring merchandise,” said Gordon R. Cooke, president and CEO. “We attribute our current success to a series of factors including our emphasis on color, our multi-channel marketing campaigns, the rollout of our cross-channel customer database, our new visual in-store presentation, some relatively minor adjustments to our merchandise silhouettes and fit along with an improving overall economic environment. Our performance during March was particularly strong in retail, with robust consumer demand for our full price merchandise resulting in better than expected gross margins and a significant increase in profitability."

Cooke added: "Our business continues to evolve and with over 50% of our revenues this quarter coming from our retail channel we are clearly no longer just a catalog company."

 

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