Gadget and home décor retailer Brookstone Inc. added a marketplace to its e-commerce site in 2011, allowing outside merchants to sell on Brookstone.com. The added inventory those retailers offer contributed in a big way to a 33% increase in online sales in the third quarter, the company says.
For the quarter ended Oct. 1, Brookstone, No. 180 in the Internet Retailer Top 500 Guide, reported:
- Web sales grew to $12.9 million, up 33.0% from $9.7 million in the same quarter of 2011.
- E-commerce sales accounted for 13.5% of total sales for the quarter, up from 12.4% in Q3 last year.
- Total net sales increased 21.9% to $95.3 million this year from $78.2 million in the third quarter of 2011.
- Net loss of $11.8 million, compared to a net loss of $13.5 million in the third quarter last year.
- Comparable-store sales increased by 6.1%.
“This [increase] was primarily due to increases in revenue resulting from our ‘marketplace initiative’, under which we have significantly increased the selection of quality third-party products on our web site,” said Stephen Bebis, president and chief executive officer.
Brookstone’s marketplace, introduced last year, increased the number of products offered on Brookstone.com from 5,300 SKUs at the beginning of 2011 to nearly 50,000 at the end of the year, the company said in its 2011 annual report. Sales of those new products accounted for 16% of 2011 e-commerce sales.
For the first three quarters of 2012, Brookstone reported:
- Web sales grew to $45.3 million, up 29.3% from around $35.1 million in the first three quarters of 2011.
- E-commerce sales accounted for 15.8% of total sales for the quarter, up from 14.4% last year.
- Total net sales increased 17.6% to $286.8 million this year from $243.8 million in the first three quarters of 2011.
- Net loss of $40.4 million, compared to a net loss of $45.6 million in the third quarter last year.
- Comparable-store sales increased by 8.7% in the first three quarters of 2012.