The apparel manufacturer is stepping up its digital marketing in hopes of connecting with a younger audience.
E-commerce now represents 16% of total sales for the apparel retail chain.
Online and total sales increased in 2012 for youth-focused apparel retailer Abercrombie & Fitch Co., but total U.S. sales dropped slightly.
For the year ended Feb. 2, Abercrombie, No. 45 in the Internet Retailer Top 500 Guide, reported:
- E-commerce sales of $700.7 million, a 26.8% jump from $552.6 million in 2011.
- Total sales increased 8.4% to $4.51 billion from $4.16 billion last year.
- Comparable-store sales, in which Abercrombie now includes online sales, decreased 1%.
- Total U.S. sales, including the web, decreased 1.0% to $3.09 billion from about $3.12 billion.
- Total international sales, including the web, increased approximately 36.5% to $1.42 billion from $1.04 billion.
- Net income was $263.2 million, 106.1% increase compared with $127.7 million in 2011.
Online sales represented 15.5% of total sales in 2012, versus 13.3% in 2011.
“Despite a challenging U.S. retail environment over the holiday period, our core U.S. chain plus DTC comparable sales remained positive and we saw continued sequential improvement in our international business,” says CEO Mike Jeffries. “We are well-positioned to reap the benefits from all of the investments we have made over the past couple of years, including continued strong growth in our DTC business.” DTC stands for direct-to-consumer.
Abercrombie ended the fiscal year with 912 stores in the U.S., a 3.6% decrease from 946 at the end of 2011. Internationally, the merchant had 139 stores, a 40.4% increase over 99 in the prior year.
For the fourth quarter, Abercrombie reported:
- Online sales of $266.4 million, a 25.5% increase compared with $212.3 million in the fourth quarter of 2011.
- Net sales were $1.47 billion, a 10.5% increase over $1.33 billion.
Comparable-store sales were flat in the U.S. and down 3% internationally.