March 25, 2009, 12:00 AM

Fossil digs up a 23% rise in annual web sales

For the fiscal year ending Jan. 3, 2009, web sales at watch and accessories retailer Fossil Inc. rose 22.9% to $45.7 million, up $8.5 million from $37.2 million a year earlier.

Bill Briggs

Senior Editor

For the fiscal year ending Jan. 3, 2009, web sales at watch and accessories manufacturer and retailer Fossil Inc. rose 22.8% to $45.7 million, up $8.5 million from $37.2 million a year earlier.

Total net sales for the fiscal year were up 10.5% or $15 million to $1.6 billion compared with $1.4 billion. Direct-to-consumer sales, which include company-owned retail stores, catalog and e-commerce, were $309.3 million up $54 million or 21% compared to $255.3 million a year earlier.

Web sales for the year accounted for 2.8% of total sales compared to 2.6% a year earlier.

The company did not break out its fiscal Q4 web sales, but its direct-to-consumer sales, totaled $109 million, compared to $90.8 million a year earlier, up $18.2 million or 20%.

Total sales for fiscal Q4 were $464.1 million virtually flat compared to $463.1 million a year earlier.

Fossil reported a fiscal year profit of $851.2 million, up 14.7% or $109.2 million compared to $742.0 million a year earlier. The manufacturer and retailer reported a fiscal Q4 profit of $242.4 million, down 2.4% or $6 million compared to $248.4 million a year earlier.

Fossil says it has implemented several cost savings measures including a hiring freeze and suspension of merit pay increases, bonus payments and the company 401(k) contributions. It also cut salaries for all executive officers and senior vice-presidents and is in the process of layoffs across the organization. Fossil predicts the move will help it save $16 million annually.

Fossil forecasts sales for Q1 of fiscal 2009 will fall 8% to 10%. For fiscal 2009, it expects sales to fall 6% to 10%. Fossil is No. 204 in the Internet Retailer Top 500 Guide.

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