The manufacturer and retailer is upgrading its inventory management and supply chain systems to prepare for a global network of e-commerce sites.
Online sales were the lone growth area for the apparel retailer, which saw its overall sales fall 5.8%.
Multichannel apparel retailer Abercrombie & Fitch Co.’s online sales grew more than 12% in its fiscal second quarter, while its overall sales fell 5.8%.
For the fiscal second quarter ended Aug. 3, Abercrombie, No. 52 in the Internet Retailer 2014 Top 500 Guide, reported:
- Online sales rose 12.4% to $173.5 million from $154.3 million in the same period in 2013.
- Total sales of $890.6 million, down 5.8% from $945.7 billion a year earlier.
- Comparable-store sales, which include online sales, were down 7% from the same period in 2013.
- Net income of $14.1 million, an 8.5% gain from $13.0 million in the same period in 2013.
Online sales represented 19.5% of total sales during the quarter compared to 16.3% a year earlier.
For the first half of the year, Abercrombie reported:
- E-commerce sales of $343.9 million, up 19.8% from $287.0 million in the same period in 2013.
- Total sales of $1.71 billion, a 3.9% decline from $1.78 billion a year earlier.
- Net income was $1.1 million, down from $5.8 million in the same period in 2013.
Online sales represented 20.1% of total sales during the quarter compared to 16.1% a year earlier.
While the retailer’s sales were generally disappointing, CEO Mike Jeffries said today during a conference call with analysts that he is confident that gains made via its back-to-school campaign will help steer it in the right direction.
“Sales for the second quarter were somewhere below our plan but we have seen modest improvement since we set back-to-school in mid-July," he said. Jeffries also announced the retailer plans to phase out logo-centric clothing by the spring.
Jonathan Ramsden, the retailer's chief operating officer, added that Abercrombie is focused on developing its "omnichannel" efforts, which should help it grow its international sales. "Our building the technology to roll out omnichannel [initiatives] in the U.S. relies on the same technology that would be applicable internationally and then by virtue of moving to regional fulfillment now in Asia, in addition to Europe, the combination of those two things puts us in a very strong position to roll out omnichannel as it becomes relevant in key markets going forward," he said.