June 2, 2011, 3:49 PM

Web sales in Q1 rise 16% for Charming Shoppes

Total sales remained flat as store sales rise 2%.

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Both stores and web sales grew for plus-size women’s apparel retailer Charming Shoppes Inc. in the first quarter. But the channel that grew the fastest was e-commerce.

For the first quarter ended April 30, Charming Shoppes, No. 132 in the Internet Retailer Top 500 Guide, reported:

  • Web sales grew 15.8% to $36.6 million from $31.6 million in the first quarter of 2010.
  • Total sales declined year over year 0.1% to $504.4 million from $504.8 million.
  • Comparable-store sales grew 2%. Charming Shoppes operates 1,989 stores under its Lane Bryant, Fashion Bug and Catherines brands in 48 states. Total sales remained essentially flat because the retailer says it is operating 7% fewer stores than a year ago.
  • Net income rose 566.7% to $26.0 million from $3.9 million in the first quarter of 2010.

“Operating improvement in our first quarter was driven by a more fashionable apparel assortment and aggressive inventory management across all of our brands,” says CEO Anthony M. Romano. “Our 2% increase in consolidated comparable-store sales was driven by a 7% comparable-store sales increase at Lane Bryant, and sales through our e-commerce channel increased 16% for the quarter.”

Internet Retailer calcuates the web accounted for 7.3% of total sales compared with 6.3% in the first quarter of 2010.

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