The growing number of influential Weibo commentators are increasingly opening their own online shops or promoting products.
Web-dominated direct sales grew 214% last year.
LuLuLemon Athletica Inc. saw a huge jump in full year and fourth quarter total sales, led by direct sales, which are nearly all from the web. The yoga and running apparel retailer plans to expand its commitment to e-commerce by developing its own e-commerce platform and redesigning its web site, CEO Christine Day said on the company’s recent year-end earnings call.
Plans for e-commerce include the ongoing transfer of the company’s e-commerce technology management from an outside provider to an in-house system running on an ATG platform, taking over order fulfillment and launching a redesigned web site at the end of the first quarter, Day told analysts.
“Given we are still learning a lot about e-commerce and have been perpetually under-inventoried on our site, we know that we are still at the early stages and see a tremendous opportunity to grow this channel,” she said.
For the fiscal year ended Jan. 30, LuLuLemon Athletica No. 398 in the Internet Retailer Top 500 Guide reported:
- Direct to consumer revenue increased 214% to $57.3 million from about $18.3 million in the prior year. Direct sales made up 8% of total revenue in fiscal 2009 compared with 4% in fiscal 2009.
- Total sales increased 57% to $711.7 million from $452.9 million.
- Comparable-stores sales increased by 30%.
- Net income was $121.8 million, up by 109% from about $58.3 million.
For the fourth quarter, LuLuLemon Athletica reported:
- Direct to consumer sales increased about 152% to $24.6 million from $9.8 million in the fourth quarter of fiscal 2009. Direct sales made up 10% of total sales.
- Total revenue rose by 53% to $245.4 million from $160.6 million.
- Comparable-store sales increased by 28%.
- Net income was $54.7 million, a 93% increase from $28.4 million.
The company expects direct channel revenue to account for 10% of total sales in the first quarter with a mid-year goal of 15%, Day said.