The web and TV retailer, formerly ShopHQ, grew e-commerce 0.3% in the first quarter.
Today it’s fair to say that Internet Retailer has achieved the lofty distribution goals we set when we launched the brand exactly seven years ago.
From the day we launched Internet Retailer in March 1999, it’s been our goal to be the leading source of business information in retailing. That was a tall order, given that most other retail magazine titles have been around much longer than ours, many of them serving the store-based retailing trade that is many times larger than e-retailing. But our ambitious goal was based on the belief that e-retailing, rather than being a subset of retailing, is the thread that links all forms of retailing together, and thus encompasses a very large base of potential subscribers.
Today it’s fair to say that Internet Retailer has achieved the lofty distribution goals we set when we launched the brand exactly seven years ago. In our circulation statement of last June, Internet Retailerr for the first time reported a slightly larger qualified request circulation than any of the retailing magazines we consider our direct or indirect competitors. And while we have not yet obtained their circulation figures for the six-month period ended last Dec. 31, I am pleased to report that Internet Retailer increased its average qualified circulation for the period to 38,960, up 11% from the average circulation we reported for the six-month period ended December 2004. Once again, retail chains and stores, catalog and other direct merchant firms, virtual merchants and manufacturers each account for a significant portion of our multi-channel circulation base.
Our Top 400 Guide, which ranks the nation’s largest e-retailers based on their annual online sales, is experiencing extraordinary circulation growth as well. Since its publication at the end of May, we’ve sold 4,500 copies of the Guide, 50% more than we sold of the prior edition in the same period.
As gratifying as they are, the circulation gains of our print publications are only part of the Internet Retailer growth story. As any trade publisher knows full well, competition is no longer measured by print alone. Electronic dissemination of business information is growing as fast as electronic retailing, and here, too, Internet Retailer takes a back seat to no competitor. Our IRNewsLink e-mail newsletter now boasts 35,000 opt-in subscribers, making it the largest retail trade newsletter in the country, one that is now distributed to subscribers four times a week, twice as many weekly editions as we published a year ago.
Befitting our birthright, however, it is on the web where we display our greatest hegemony over other publishers in the retailing business information market. Our web site, internetretailer.com, last month recorded 473,543 visits, up 55% from the same month one year earlier. That growth rate is explained by the site’s impressive editorial content-more than 17,000 articles and press releases on a wide variety of e-retailing topics. As a result of this traffic, Alexa currently ranks internetretailer.com as the world’s 5,164th most trafficked web site-based on a combination of visits and page views for the three-month period ended Feb. 21. By comparison, the web sites of the eight retail and catalog magazine publishers we consider our main competitors had Alexa ratings during this period between 42,000 and 800,000. When you consider the millions of web sites in operation around the world, a ranking in the neighborhood of 5,000 puts internetretailer.com in very exclusive company.
These circulation and traffic increases are explained in part by the fact that e-retailing is the fastest growing retailing segment and critical to the success of every traditional store and direct merchandising business. They also reflect our unwavering commitment to meeting the business information needs of e-retailers everywhere.
Jack Love, Publisher