February 26, 2014, 12:48 PM

Abercrombie & Fitch’s 2013 web sales climb by 11%

E-commerce is the apparel retailer’s only growth channel as total sales and income decline.

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Same-store sales were down 11% in 2013.

Online grew in 2013 for youth-focused apparel retailer Abercrombie & Fitch Co., but total U.S. sales fell.

For the year ended Feb. 1, Abercrombie, No. 47 in the Internet Retailer Top 500 Guide, reported:

  • E-commerce sales of $777 million, up by 10.9% from $700.7 million in 2012.
  • Total sales of $4.12 billion, an 8.6% decline from $4.51 billion last year.
  • Comparable-store sales, in which Abercrombie now includes online sales, decreased 11%.
  • Total U.S. sales, including the web, decreased 13.9% to $2.66 billion from about $3.09 billion.
  • Total international sales, including the web, increased about 2.8% to $1.46 billion from $1.42 billion.
  • Net income was $54.6 million, down by 77.0% compared with $237.0 million in 2012.

Online sales represented 18.9% of total sales in 2013, versus 15.5% in 2012.

The accounting period for 2013 was 52 weeks compared with 53 weeks in 2012.

In November, Abercrombie’s board of directors approved the closure of its 24 stand-alone Gilly Hicks stores. The company expects to complete the closures by the end of the first quarter of fiscal 2014. Gilly Hicks branded intimate apparel will still be sold through Hollister stores and online, Abercrombie says.

For the fourth quarter, Abercrombie reported:

  • Online sales of $315 million, up by 18% from about $266.9 million in the fourth quarter of 2012.
  • Total sales of $1.30 billion, down by 11.6% from $1.47 billion
  • Comparable-store sales were down by 8%.
  • Net income of $66.1 million, a decrease of 58.0% from $157.2 million in the same quarter last year.

E-commerce accounted for 24.2% of total sales for the quarter, compared with 18.2% in the same quarter last year.

“For the fourth quarter, we are pleased that results exceeded expectations coming into the quarter,” says Mike Jeffries, CEO. “Sales from our direct-to-consumer business were particularly strong, representing nearly 25% of sales for the quarter, we saw sequential improvement in our comparable-store sales trend, and continued to see strong results in China and Japan.”

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