Total revenue and store sales declined, but women’s clothing apparel retailer The Talbots Inc. was able to modestly dress up its e-commerce business in 2009.
For the year ended Jan. 30, 2010, Talbots, No. 106 in the Internet Retailer Top 500 Guide, achieved:
- An increase in web sales of 3.7% to $148.1 million from $142.8 million in 2008.
- Total sales decreased 17.4% to $1.23 billion from $1.49 billion in the prior year.
- Retail sales decreased 19.0% to $1.02 billion from $1.26 billion in 2008.
- Direct sales, which includes catalog and web, declined year over 11.1% to $207.7 million from $233.6 million.
- Comparable-store sales decreased 19.3%.
- Net loss was $29.4 million compared with a net loss of $555.7 million in 2008.
“Re-energizing our brand, modernizing our merchandise, streamlining our organization and improving our business processes firmly positions us for future growth and profitability,” says CEO Trudy F. Sullivan.
Based on Internet Retailer calculations, the web accounted for 12.0% of total sales in 2009 compared with 9.6% in 2008.
Talbots doesn’t break out quarterly web sales, but in the final quarter of 2009 recorded:
- Total sales decreased 3.7% to $315.9 million from $327.9 million in the fourth quarter of the prior year.
- Retail sales decreased 6.3% to $261.2 million from $278.7 million in Q4 2008.
- Direct sales increased year over year 11.2% to $54.7 million from $49.2 million in the fourth quarter of 2008.
- Comparable-store sales decreased 7.2%.
- Net loss was $4.0 million compared with a net loss of $361.5 million in Q4 2008.
Talbots in April also completed a plan to reduce debt and secure a new line of credit. Under the plan, Talbots reduced its debt by $330 million by merging with BPW Acquisition Corp, a private equity company. Talbots sold BPW 54% of its outstanding common stock at $11.25 per share in a deal valued at about $350 million. Talbots and BPW are using about $330 million from a special trust fund and a new $200 million line of credit to repay $491 million in debt to various Japanese banks and AEON Inc., its single largest creditor, the retailer says.