May 27, 2011, 4:11 PM

The web heads up, but not stores for The Children’s Place

E-commerce in Q1 grew 24%, but same-store sales slipped 3.2%.

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It was a tale of two different channels for The Children’s Place Retail Stores Inc. in the first quarter. While store sales fell, the growth online was impressive.

For the first quarter ended April 30, The Children’s Place, No. 127 in the Internet Retailer Top 500 Guide, reported:

  • E-commerce sales increased 23.9% to $40.4 million from $32.6 million in the first quarter of fiscal 2011.
  • Total sales increased year over year 2.1% to $430.8 million from $422.1 million.
  • Comparable-store sales declined 3.2%.
  • Net income grew 4.3% to $29.1 million from $27.9 million in the first quarter of fiscal 2011.

Internet Retailer calculates the web accounted for 9.4% of total sales compared with 7.7% in the first quarter of fiscal 2011.

“We grew net sales and earnings during the first quarter, and expanded merchandise margins as a result of improved merchandise assortments and disciplined inventory management,” says CEO Jane Elfers. “E-commerce sales grew 24% and square footage expanded by 6% as we accelerated new store openings earlier in the year.”

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