Vera Bradley’s e-commerce arm underperforms vs. stores in Q4 and 2013

The handbag maker and online retailer says site traffic and average order value declined.

Stefany Zaroban

Earnings reports from many multichannel retailers in recent months revealed large declines in store sales against increases in web sales during the recent fourth quarter and full-year fiscal periods. In a departure from those reports patterned handbag manufacturer Vera Bradley Inc. reported a decrease in online sales during the fourth quarter and full year, while store sales were up.

Much of the increase in store sales came from 19 full-priced and four outlet stores Vera Bradley opened in 2013, the retailer says.

For the fiscal year 2014 ended Feb. 1, Vera Bradley, No. 172 in the Internet Retailer Top 500 Guide, disclosed:

Declines in web and store traffic, combined with lower average order values and an “underperformance of the product offering” drove the decreases in comparable-store sales and e-commerce sales for the year, Vera Bradley says.

“We continue to face external headwinds and certain challenges within the business, and fiscal 2015 will be a year of transition for Vera Bradley,” says CEO Robert Wallstrom. “We will modernize and elevate our product, evolve into a true multichannel business as we grow our full-line store base, expand our factory outlet channel, further develop e-commerce, expand our department store presence, and stabilize our specialty/gift channel, and generate excitement for the aspirational Vera Bradley brand through our marketing efforts.”

For the fourth quarter, the retailer reported:

Severe winter weather cut down store traffic during the fourth quarter, Vera Bradley says.


2013 financials, apparel, average order value, fiscal 2013, fourth quarter, handbags, Q4 earnings, Vera Bradley, web sales, web traffic