November 27, 2013, 11:35 AM

‘Dramatic growth’ in web sales at Bon-Ton Stores

E-commerce is on pace to account for 5% of Bon-Ton’s total sales in 2013.

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E-commerce continues to outshine store sales for department store chain retailer The Bon-Ton Stores Inc., No. 475 in the Internet Retailer Top 500 Guide, which operates e-commerce sites for its brands—Bon-Ton, Boston Store, Carson Pirie Scott, Elder-Beerman, Bergner’s, Herberger’s and Younker’s.

While the retailer does not release quarterly web sales or growth, company officials said in an investor call this week that web sales are expected to account for about 5% of the company’s overall business. “Our e-commerce business continues its dramatic growth and is on track to penetrate at around 5% of our overall business,” says president and CEO Brendan Hoffman. “We saw a huge surge in traffic as our efforts in digital media continue to build and the customers were able to take advantage of our expanded assortment including as of last week the World of Ralph Lauren.”

Hoffman, who was hired in early 2012, comes from an e-commerce background, having previously been the CEO of Neiman Marcus Direct, No.  39 in the Internet Retailer Top 500 Guide. Hoffman is excited about the company’s e-commerce outlook.

“Further validation came from the World Retail Congress which ranked our website number two in US department stores in their quarterly survey, with the focus being on user experience,” he says. “We have high expectations for the continued acceleration of the business during the holiday season and beyond online.”

For the third quarter ending November 2, 2013, the retailer reported:

  • Total sales decreased 2.6% to $651.2 million compared with $668.7 million in the prior year period.
  • Comparable-store sales decreased 2.8%
  • Net loss totaled $0.9 million, compared with a loss of $10.1 million in Q3 2012.

For the nine months ended November 2, 2013, the retailer also reported:

  • Total sales decreased 2.1% to about $1.6 billion compared with $1.9 billion million in the prior year period.
  • Comparable-store sales decreased 2.6%
  • Net loss totaled $64.9 million, compared with a loss of $96 million in the first three quarters of 2012.
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