April 27, 2001, 12:00 AM

With strong Internet sales, Lillian Vernon plans to upgrade its web site

Lillian Vernon’s web sales more than doubled in FIscal Year 2000, while overall sales grew 2%. An upgraded site will debut in the fall.

Internet sales were some of the good news in otherwise disappointing year-end results at Lillian Vernon, a catalog and Internet merchant of gifts and household goods. While the company didn’t release sales figures for the Internet, it noted that sales at Lillian Vernon.com more than doubled over the previous year. Lillian Vernon reported a net loss of $1.4 million on revenues that increased 2% to $287.1 million from last year’s $281 million for its fiscal year ended February 24. Lillian Vernon plans to capitalize on its customers’ embrace of the web. “We will launch an upgraded consumer web site in the fall to build on the success of our online sales and continue to attract new customers,” CEO Lillian Vernon told shareholders. Figuring into the loss were the fourth-quarter economic downturn that reduced consumers response to catalog mailings, plus restructuring and severance charges associated with a companywide workforce reduction and consolidation of call center facilities late last year, she added.

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