August 19, 2011, 8:50 AM

Bon-Ton Stores’ web sales jump 64% in Q2

The department store chain is planning a major push in e-commerce.

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E-commerce sales were the lone bright spot in Q2 for national department store chain The Bon-Ton Stores Inc.

While the retailer does not release web sales, company officials said in an investor call yesterday that web sales increased 64% compared with the second quarter of 2010. Bon-Ton Stores, No. 520 in Internet Retailer’s Second 500 Guide, operates several e-commerce sites for its family of brands—Bon-Ton, Boston Store, Carson Pirie Scott, Elder-Beerman, Bergner’s, Herberger’s and Younker’s.

“E-commerce had another strong quarter with a double-digit growth,” said vice chairman and president of merchandising Anthony Buccina. “The increased inventory and expanded SKU offerings continue to drive the online business.”

The web is also making up a larger share of total revenue, Bon-Ton officials said, as e-commerce as a portion of total sales continues to grow at one percentage point per year. The retailer does not release what percentage of total sales its e-commerce channel represents, but Internet Retailer estimates Bon-Ton brought in $11.5 million in web sales in 2010, or 0.4% of its total sales of $3.0 billion.

Bon-Ton is planning further investments in e-commerce, including installing 12 kiosks in stores that allow customers to buy online merchandise not available in physical stores.  “We will monitor the successes of these initiatives and will adjust our strategies accordingly,” said Bud Bergren, president and CEO.

For the three months ending July 30, 2011, the retailer also reported:

  • Total sales decreased 2.2% to $595.5 million compared with $608.8 million in the prior year period.
  • Comparable-store sales decreased 1.5%
  • Net loss totaled $32.3 million, compared with a loss of $33.6 million in Q2 2010.
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