November 19, 2008, 12:00 AM

eCost.com revenue is down 12% for the third quarter

ECost.com, the mass merchant segment of PFSweb, reported web sales of $23.7 million for the third quarter of 2008, down 12% from the prior year period. ECost.com’s b2c mix is growing, however, as consumer business grew by 9% in the recent quarter.

Mark Brohan

Research Director

ECost.com Inc., the mass merchant segment of PFSweb Inc., reported web sales of $23.7 million for the third quarter of 2008, down 12% from $27 million in the prior year period.

ECost.com’s b2c business grew by 9% in the recent quarter ended Sept. 30, 2008, and the company announced e-commerce site upgrades aiming to further increase consumer business, says Mark Layton, PFSweb chairman and CEO.

“While eCost.com’s revenue declined $4 million for the quarter, we are pleased to report that our business-to-consumer segment, which now represents 60% of eCost.com’s revenue, increased 9% over the same period in the prior year,” Layton says. “Because of the more attractive financial characteristics of this b2c segment, including a higher gross margin, we expect to continue to place increased focus on further improving product breadth, daily deal offerings and overall service to this segment.”

Two weeks ago eCost.com unveiled a number of enhancements to its web site, including a new edition of its Bargain Countdown shopping section, 10,000 new products in the office equipment and supply category, and a new shopping cart and checkout process, Layton says. “Collectively, these improvements will provide shoppers at eCost.com improved functionality, shopping speed and overall customer experience just in time for the holiday season,” he says.

For Q3 2008, eCost.com’s operating loss was $500,000 compared with a loss of about $400,000 in the prior year period.

For the first nine months of 2008 eCost.com revenue was $74.7 million, down by 1% compared with $75.7 million for the same period in 2007. Operating loss through three quarters of 2008 was $1.7 million, compared with a loss of $1.9 million for the same period last year.

ECost.com is No. 119 in the Internet Retailer Top 500 Guide.

PFSweb reported Q3 2008 sales of $109.9 million, down by $2.1 million or 2%, compared with $112 million for the third quarter of 2007. Net income was $43,000 for Q3 2008 vs. $162,000 in the prior year quarter. For the first nine months of fiscal 2008, total sales were $339.1 million, up by 4.4% from $324.8 million for the same period in 2007. Net income was $500,000 vs. a net loss of $2 million in the prior year period.

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