April 14, 2010, 12:00 AM

Web-dominated direct sales grow for J. Crew in 2009

J. Crew’s direct sales, which mostly come from the web, grew modestly in 2009. Direct sales increased year over year 4.7% while total revenue and comparable-store sales grew 10.6% and 4.0%, respectively.

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Direct sales, which mostly come from the web, grew modestly for J. Crew Group Inc. in 2009.

For the year ended Jan. 30, J. Crew, No. 51 in the Internet Retailer Top 500 Guide, recorded:

  • An increase in direct sales of 4.7% to $428.2 million from $408.9 million in 2008.
  • Total sales increased 10.6% to $1.57 billion from $1.42 billion in 2008.
  • Retail sales increased 14.0% to $1.11 billion from $974.3 million in the prior year.
  • Comparable-store sales increased 4.0%.
  • Net income increased year over year 128.1% to $123.4 million from $54.1 million.

In recent years, the web has accounted for about 80% of J. Crew’s direct sales. Based on Internet Retailer calculations, web sales in 2009 increased 4.7% to $342.6 million from $327.1 million in 2008. Internet Retailer also calculates that the web accounted for 21.8% of all sales compared with 23% in 2008.

 

“We have effectively managed our business with a healthy balance of growth and margin expansion and it’s our mission to continue to do so,” says J. Crew CEO Millard Drexler.

For the fourth quarter, J. Crew, which doesn’t break out e-commerce sales, also recorded:

  • An increase in direct sales of 13.2% to $139.2 million from $123.0 million in Q4 2008.
  • Total sales increased 18.7% to $460.6 million from $388.0 million in the fourth quarter of 2008.
  • Retail sales increased 23.5% to $311.1 million from $252.0 million in the prior year.
  • Comparable-store sales increased 17.0%.
  • Net income was $40.5 million compared to a net loss of $13.5 million in the fourth quarter of 2008.

Though J. Crew didn’t release any details, the specialty apparel retailer is also making plans to launch a new e-commerce site for its Madewell brand, which sells jeans and denim-related apparel, in the second or third quarter. “Our Madewell results in 2009 were better than expected,” Drexler told Wall Street analysts on the company’s recent year-end earnings call. “We have signed deals with some really important new stores in 2010 and there’s a lot of anticipation around the launch of our e-commerce site this summer.”

 

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