April 9, 2012, 5:17 PM

Web sales grow in 2011 but losses mount for Bluefly.com

The e-retailer is optimistic about two specialty e-commerce sites launched last year.

Lead Photo

Joseph Park, Bluefly CEO.

The top and bottom lines moved in opposite directions for online-only apparel retailer Bluefly Inc. in the fourth quarter and in 2011. Sales grew at a moderate pace, but the company also reported a wider net loss.

For the year ended Dec. 31, Bluefly, No. 173 in the Internet Retailer Top 500 Guide, reported:

  • Web sales increased 8.7% to $96.3 million from $88.6 million in 2010.
  • Average order size was $303, a 1.0% increase from $300.
  • The number of new customers increased 7.1% to 187,262 from 174,795.
  • Sales and fulfillment expenses increased 13.0% to $19.1million from $16.9 million.
  • Marketing expenses decreased 13.5% to $10.9 million from $12.6 million.
  • Net loss of $11.4 million, compared with a net loss of $4.0 million in 2010.

For the fourth quarter, Bluefly reported:

  • Web sales increased 2.8% to $29.4 million from $28.6 million in the fourth quarter of 2010.
  • Average order size was $292.20, down by 0.4% from $293.36
  • The number of new customers decreased 12.0% to 60,611 from 68,868.
  • Sales and fulfillment expenses increased 18.8% to $5.7 million from $4.8 million.
  • Marketing expenses increased 19.4% to $3.7 million from $3.1 million.
  • Net loss of $6.1 million, compared with a profit of $269,000 in the fourth quarter of 2010.

Bluefly attributed the additional expenses in part to the fourth quarter launch of its Belle & Clive flash sale site.

Bluefly CEO Joseph Park says 2011 was a “pivotal year” for the retailer. Belle & Clive was not Bluefly’s sole new e-commerce site last year. In June, the company launched eyewear site Eyefly.com. “We are very excited by the opportunities that Belle & Clive bring to our company and have already seen a significant increase in subscriber growth in the two quarters since we implemented this new strategy,” Park says.

Park replaced Melissa Payner as Bluefly’s CEO in February.

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