April 1, 2009, 12:00 AM

Dover Saddlery trots out an increase in web sales as total sales drop

Web sales grew modestly for Dover Saddlery in 2008 even as total revenue and same-store sales slipped. The web grew by 1.9% as total sales and same-store sales declined by 4.2% and 4.7%, respectively.

Web sales grew modestly for Dover Saddlery Inc. in 2008 even as total revenue and same-store sales slipped.

For 2008, web sales for Dover Saddlery, a multichannel retailer of equestrian products and No. 280 in the Internet Retailer Top 500 Guide, grew by 1.9% to $26.7 million from $26.2 million in 2007. In 2008, total sales for Dover Saddlery decreased by 4.2% to $78 million from $81.4 million in 2007. Retail store sales grew year over year by 11.1% to $22.1 million from $19.9 million. Dover Saddlery opened six stores in the past year and now operates 12. Same-store sales dropped by 4.7%.

In 2008, the web accounted for 33.6% of total sales vs. 32.2% in 2007. Catalog sales decreased year over year by 17.6% to $29.1 million from $35.3 million.

Dover Saddlery doesn’t break out quarterly web or catalog sales, but total revenue in the fourth quarter of 2008 declined by 7% to $21.3 million from $22.9 million in the prior year. The opening of a new store in Alpharetta, GA, was the main factor in helping retail store sales increase by 8.8% to $6.2 million from $5.7 million in Q4 2007, the company says. Same-store sales declined by 11.8% and direct sales, which include catalog and web, decreased by 11.6% to $15.2 million in the fourth quarter from $17.2 million in the prior year.

The retailer’s net loss for the year reached $13.8 million compared with net income of $825,000 in 2007. Dover Saddlery’s net loss in the fourth quarter was $13.9 million vs. net income of $920,000 in the prior year.

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