March 25, 2011, 2:30 PM

Talbots’ annual web sales grow but not in Q4

E-commerce sales fell 6.6% in the fourth quarter.

Mark Brohan

Research Director

Lead Photo

It was the web and direct marketing that provided sales growth for specialty apparel retailer The Talbots Inc. in 2010.

For the year ended Jan. 29, Talbots, No. 107 in the Internet Retailer Top 500 reported:

  • Web sales increased 9.8% to $159.6 million from $145.4 million in 2009.
  • Direct sales, which include catalog and web, grew year over year 6.7% to $221.7 million from $207.7 million.
  • Total sales decreased 1.6% to $1.21 billion from $1.23 billion in 2009.
  • Comparable-store sales declined 3.4%.
  • Net income was $10.8 million compared with a net loss of $29.4 million in 2009.

Internet Retailer calculates the web accounted for 13.2% of total sales in 2010 compared with 11.8% in 2009.

“For the full year, we significantly improved our profitability and considerably de-leveraged our balance sheet; however, we remain disappointed in our fourth quarter performance,” says CEO Trudy Sullivan. “As we previously reported, our results during the fourth quarter reflected weaker than anticipated customer response to our product, high levels of competitive promotional activity and weather related issues.”

For the fourth quarter, Talbots also reported:

  • Web sales decreased 6.6% to $40.9 million from $43.8 million in Q4 2009.
  • Direct sales decreased 5.3% to $51.8 million from $54.7 million in Q4 2009.
  • Total sales decreased year over year 7.4% to $292.6 million from $315.9 million.
  • Comparable-store sales decreased 7.3%.
  • Net loss was $2.8 million compared with net income of $4.1 million in Q4 2009.

Internet Retailer calculates the web accounted for 14% of total sales in 2010 compared with 13.9% in 2009.

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