May 13, 2011, 4:14 PM

Bluefly’s Q1 sales climb by 7%

Demand for luxury products drives modest growth for the web-only retailer.

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Sales are up but margins are down for Bluefly Inc. in Q1.

For the quarter ending March 31, the online retailer of designer apparel and accessories reported:

  • Sales increased 7.4% to $21.7 million from $20.2 million in the first quarter of 2010.
  • Average order value increased 6.0% to $296.60, compared with $279.94 in the same period in the prior year.
  • Gross profit margin decreased to 37.8% from 41.2%.
  • Net loss of $1.35 million compared with a net loss of $1.50 million in Q1 2010.

Bluefly, No. 173 in Internet Retailer’s Top 500 Guide, attributed lower margins to a shift in selection toward luxury merchandise.

“Our sales were driven by strong growth within our luxury business, which operates at a lower gross margin versus other areas of our business,” says CEO Melissa Payner. “As we look ahead, we expect to continue our positive sales performance and improve gross margin as we seek to accelerate the growth of our higher-margin apparel categories.”

Earlier this year, Bluefly announced plans to launch this spring Eyefly.com, a prescription eyewear site, with manufacturing partner A+D Labs. “We look forward to the launch of Eyefly, as it will represent our ability to leverage the existing Bluefly operating structure to pursue new growth opportunities,” Payner says.

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