CEO Sharon Price John says Build-A-Bear’s old e-commerce system is a big reason for disappointing online sales in December.
Web sales at Spiegel properties were up 8% in November while total sales were down 23%. J. Crew suffered declines in both areas, with web sales down 14% and total sales down 12%.
As if the late date of Thanksgiving wasn’t creating enough stress among retailers worried about the compressed Christmas shopping season, it’s also playing havoc with their sales reports.
Spiegel Group Inc. today reported that sales for November were down 23% vs. last November. “Sales comparability to last year was adversely impacted by a shift in the calendar,” Spiegel said. Taking that into account, sales were down 20% for the month.
Sales from Spiegel`s web sites were up 8% for the month compared to last year. Total direct sales declined 24% and retail store sales decreased 23%.
In the same month, online sales at J. Crew Group Inc. declined 14.2% to $13.9 million from $16.2 million a year ago. Total revenue for the month dropped 11.8% to $76 million. “The November 2002 sales results reflect the impact of the Thanksgiving calendar shift, particularly in the company`s direct business,” J. Crew reported. Direct sales fell 26.8% to $25.4 million from $25.6 million a year ago. “We believe the performance of our direct business is primarily attributable to the Thanksgiving calendar shift. We were pleased with the results of this week`s `Online Black Monday,` which exceeded our expectations," said Ken Pilot, CEO.
In the first 10 months of the fiscal year, sales were down 2.7% overall to $600.6 million from $617.5 million while online sales were up 11.5% to $105.4 million from $94.5 million. Year to date, online sales account for 17.5% of sales vs. 15.3% in last year’s first 10 months.