A new forecast from Forrester Research credits greater online spending by Canadians, lower shipping costs and more selection for the spending increase.
Web sales at Ann are expected to hit $250 million for 2011.
With the financial performance at its core brand faltering, Ann Inc. is putting the company’s top e-commerce executive to work on fixing the problem.
Ann, formerly Ann Taylor Stores Inc., No 95 in the Internet Retailer Top 500, has named Bryan Lynch as the new brand president of its Ann Taylor division to replace Christine Beauchamp, who has left the company. Lynch, who joined Ann in 2004, was previously in charge of e-commerce and served as president of the Ann Taylor factory and Loft outfit division.
“During his tenure, Bryan Lynch substantially grew the highly profitable factory outlet channel from $150 million in annual revenues to approximately $500 million in fiscal 2011,” says Ann CEO Kay Krill. “Under his leadership, the company's e-commerce channels have grown significantly and are expected to deliver approximately $250 million in sales this year, doubling the business in the last two years.
In conjunction with its management shakeup, Ann also updated its year-end financials, which it will break out on March 9. The company reported:
- Total sales in the fourth quarter are expected to be about $566 million, an increase of 9.8% from sales of $515.3 million in Q4 2011.
- With $250 million in expected e-commerce sales, the web grew 31.9% for Ann Taylor in 2011 from $189.5 million in 2011.
- Total sales in 2011 to be about $2.12 billion, up 12.2% from $1.89 billion in 2010.
- Comparable-store sales, which include e-commerce, increased 7%.
- Q4 Sales at the Ann Taylor brand and in Ann Taylor stores declined 1% and 11%, respectively. Q4 Ann Taylor e-commerce sales grew 28%.
- Q4 sales at the Loft brand and Loft stores increased 11% and 8%, respectively. Q4 Loft e-commerce sales also grew 28%.
“We are disappointed with our fourth quarter results in the Ann Taylor stores channel, but are pleased that the brand's online and factory channels continued to deliver strong results,” Krill says. “Importantly, our Loft brand delivered outstanding results across all three channels, reflecting very positive client response to Loft’s product offering during the quarter.”