June 16, 2010, 3:02 PM

Talbots delivers a healthy quarter online

Web sales grew 25% while same-store sales increased 2.4%.

Multichannel women’s apparel retailer The Talbots Inc. posted sharply higher Internet and direct marketing sales in the first quarter.

For the quarter ended May 1, Talbots, No. 107 in the Internet Retailer Top 500 Guide, reported:

  • Web sales increased 25% to $40 million from $32 million in the first quarter of 2009.
  • Total sales grew year over year 4.7% to $320.7 million from $306.2 million.
  • Comparable-store sales increased 2.4%.
  • Retail sales grew 0.5% to $257.6 million from $256.4 million in the first quarter of 2009.
  • Direct marketing sales grew year over year 26.7% to $63.1 million from $49.8 million.
  • Net loss from continuing operations was $7.1 million compared with $18.8 million in the prior year.

“Our performance in the quarter, which exceeded our expectations, was driven by top-line sales growth, significant gross margin expansion, and continued strong inventory and expense management,” says CEO Trudy F. Sullivan. “With a strong start to 2010, improving fundamentals and a solid balance sheet, we will remain focused on driving sustainable profitable growth of the business over the long term.”

Internet Retailer calculates the web accounted for 12.5% of total sales in the first quarter compared with 10.5% in the prior year.

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