June 20, 2011, 3:00 PM

Direct sales grow 52% for LuLuLemon in Q1

The web should account for 10% of sales in 2011.

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Direct sales, which are almost entirely online, continue to generate impressive numbers for specialty apparel retailer LuLuLemon Athletica Inc.

For the first quarter ended May 1, LuLu, No. 229 in the Internet Retailer Top 500 Guide, reported:

  • Direct to consumer revenue increased about 51.6% to $13.8 million from about $9.1 million in the prior year.
  • Total sales increased 35.1% to $186.8 million from $138.3 million.
  • Comparable-stores sales increased by 16%.
  • Net income was $33.5 million, up by 70.9% from about $19.6 million in the first quarter of 2010.

Internet Retailer calculates direct sales accounted for about 7.4% of total sales compared with 6.6% in the first quarter of 2010.

In the first quarter, LuLuLemon completed the transition to a new e-commerce system running on an Oracle/ATG platform. The retailer also added a number of new features and functions, including one-page check out, advanced site search capabilities and more rich media.

LuLuLemon, which introduced an online channel just two years ago, also expects e-commerce sales to account for about 10% of total revenue in 2011. “Our online store inventory will be in a good position to support a strong back half of the year,” CEO Christine Day told Wall Street analysts on the retailer’s recent earnings call. “While we planned e-commerce as a percentage of revenue to be down through the transition to a new platform, we already see it climbing back towards a 10% run rate and expect to be close to 10% of total revenue for the full year.”

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