March 19, 2014, 11:34 AM

Express Inc.’s web sales grow 25% in 2013

Online sales reach the company goal of for more than 15% of total revenue, and accounts for all of its revenue growth.

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Apparel retailer Express Inc. reported the web accounted for more than 15% of 2013 sales and that further web and mobile commerce investment is coming in 2014.

The web accounted for 15.3% of total sales in 2013 and all of Express’s sales growth. Online sales accounted for 12.6% of total sales in 2012.

Express “reached our publicly stated 15% goal more quickly than I thought it would,” CEO Michael Weiss told Wall Street analysts on the company’s year-end earnings call last week, according to a transcript of the call from Seeking Alpha. “It speaks both to our executional skill and the rapid shift in how our customer is changing. We continue to invest in this area and while we don’t see any need to set a new target, we once again expect e-commerce to deliver double-digit growth in 2014.”

To support that growth, Express will roll out enhancements to its web site and its mobile platform, Weiss told analysts, though he did not provide details. That will advance Express’s goal of becoming “a true omnichannel retailer,” he said. “Store clerks are already ordering online to fulfill customer requests on items not available in a particular store,” Weiss said. “Our next stage will be ship from stores. The ultimate objective is one universal view of the inventory so that turns can be maximized, markdowns minimized and customer orders filled more quickly.”

For the fiscal year ended Feb. 1, Express, No. 97 in the Internet Retailer 2013 Top 500 Guide reported:

  • Web sales increased by 25.0% to $340.6 million from $272.5 million in 2012.
  • Total sales grew year over year 2.9% to $2.219 billion from $2.157 billion.
  • Comparable-store sales, which include web sales, increased 3%.
  • Net income dipped 16.4% to $116.5 million from $139.3 in 2012.

For the fourth quarter ended Feb. 1, Express reported:

  • Web sales increased 14.0% to $138.8 million from $121.8 million in 2012.
  • Total sales decreased year over year 2.2% to $715.9 million from $731.7 million.
  • Comparable-store sales, which include web sales, increased 1%.
  • Net income decreased 25.0% to $47.9 million from $63.9 million.

The web accounted for 19.4% of fourth quarter sales compared with 16.6% in 2012.

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