May 28, 2013, 12:21 PM

Store chains lead the way in apparel and accessories web sales

The Top 10 retailers in the category in the Top 500 Guide operate physical stores.

Katie Evans

Managing Editor, International Research

Lead Photo

When it comes to apparel and accessories retailers in the just-released 2013 Internet Retailer Top 500 Guide, store chains lead the way.

Gap Inc. Direct nabs the No. 1 position in the category in terms of web sales and comes in at No. 19 in the Top 500 Guide with $1.93 billion in web sales for 2012, up 23.7% from $1.56 billion a year earlier. That growth helped it move from the third position in the apparel and accessories category in last year’s guide to the first spot in the 2013 guide.

Second in the category is Victoria’s Secret Direct, No. 21 in the guide with $1.67 billion in sales, up 2.5% from 2011 web sales of $1.63 billion. It held tight with the number two ranking in the category that it had in last year’s guide. Next in the category is Nordstrom Inc. with $1.3 billion in sales, up 42.4% from $913 million a year earlier, placing it No. 28 in the 2013 Top 500 Guide. It moves up one spot from its number four position in the apparel and accessories category last year.

The top three retailers in the category account for 19.23% of all apparel and accessory web sales in the guide. Gap accounts for 7.57%, Victoria’s Secret Direct, 6.55% and Nordstrom, 5.11%.

Of the three, Nordstrom posted the most impressive web sales growth by far. The company’s direct sales channel, which is virtually all online sales, is the fastest-growing channel for the retailer, Blake Nordstrom told analysts on the chain’s recent year-end earnings call. Nordstrom in 2011 acquired HauteLook, a web-only flash sale retailer that also posted impressive sales gains with sales growing 40% between 2011 and 2012. HauteLook’s sales are part of Nordstrom’s $1.3 billion in 2012 web sales.

Investments in e-commerce also paid off for the retailer last year. In 2012, the retailer built out its information technology infrastructure, expanded its online merchandise, and added more mobile points of sale to Nordstrom stores that enable shoppers to order goods online that are not available in a bricks-and-mortar location. A beefed up Nordstrom.com now also includes updated recommendations and 360-degree video views on several product pages.

Top apparel and accessories retailer Gap also made a recent acquisition that will help beef up its e-commerce sales. It purchased Intermix Holdco Inc. a specialty women’s apparel retailer, in January for $130 million. Intermix operates more than 30 stores in the U.S. and Canada and also sells online.

Store retailers make up the Top 10 spots in terms of web sales in the apparel and accessories category in the 2013 Top 500 Guide.  The first non-store retailer in the category is web-only private sale retailer Gilt Groupe Inc., coming in at No. 11 with $540 million in sales, up 8.0% from $500 million a year earlier.

 

 

 

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