May 12, 2011, 4:16 PM

Web sales are the lone bright spot for American Apparel in Q1

E-commerce revenue grew 28%, but total sales fell 4.7%.

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American Apparel Inc. had strong first quarter web sales, but the company’s other financial results weren’t nearly as positive.

For the quarter ended March 31, American Apparel reported:

  • E-commerce sales, which include the U.S. and international, of about $10.0 million, up by 28.2% from $7.8 million in the first quarter of 2010.
  • Total sales of $116.1 million, a 4.7% decline from $121.8 million.
  • Total retail sales of $72.7 million, down by 8.2% from $79.2 million.
  • Comparable-store sales declined 8%.
  • Net loss was $20.7 million compared to net loss for the first quarter of 2010 of $42.8 million

Internet Retailer calculates the web represented 8.6% of sales for American Apparel, No. 273 in the Internet Retailer Top 500 Guide, in the first quarter of 2011, compared with 6.4% in the prior year quarter.

Retail sales were affected by store closures, and comparable-store sales were down in the first quarter because of the shift of the Easter holiday to late April. Online sales growth resulted from improvements to AmericanApparel.com and better order fulfillment, the company says.

The company also announced it raised $14.2 million new capital in late April from a group of investors.

American Apparel had warned in its 2010 annual report filed with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission that it might file for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection. The retailer attributed its financial problems to higher raw materials costs, labor disruption from an ongoing immigration-related investigation, key management turnover and financing problems. The company issued a similar warning with its newly filed first quarter earnings statement with the SEC.

For the year ended Dec. 31, 2010, American Apparel reported:

  • Web sales, which include the U.S. and international, declined 4.8% to $35.5 million from $37.3 million in 2009.
  • Total sales declined 4.6% to $533.0 million from $558.8 million in 2009.
  • Comparable-store sales declined 13.4%.
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