Online sales grew much faster than store sales for Dick’s Sporting Goods Inc. in its fourth quarter and recent fiscal year, but both online and offline sales tailed off at the end of the year as unseasonably warm weather cut into apparel sales.
Dick’s, No. 70 in the Internet Retailer 2015 Top 500 Guide, reported today that the web accounted for 15.7% of sales during the fiscal fourth quarter ended Jan. 30, up from 14.4% during the prior-year quarter, and for the year online accounted for 10.3% of sales, an increase from 9.2%. That suggests the retailer’s online sales increased 13.1% in the quarter and 19.5% for the year.
The sporting goods chain increased its annual web sales ahead of online retail sales in the United States, which grew 14.6% in 2015, according to the U.S. Commerce Department, but quarterly and full-year web gains fell short of the retailer’s recent e-commerce growth. Dick’s reported at the end of the third quarter that web sales had grown nearly 25% during the first nine months of fiscal 2015; in fiscal 2014 online sales grew 28%.
Still, its bricks-and-mortar stores produced far less stellar results. Total sales increased 3.7% in the fourth quarter and 6.7% for the year, while same-store sales declined 2.5% in the fourth quarter and 0.2% for fiscal 2015.
Like many other retailers, Dick’s blamed warm weather late in 2015 for holding down apparel sales, both in stores and on the web.
“Given the challenging conditions we faced with the unseasonably warm weather, we operated quite well in the fourth quarter, generating earnings within our guided range and driving results in important growth categories,” Dick’s chairman and CEO Edward Stack said in a statement accompanying the earnings release. “In 2015, we grew our omnichannel platform by maintaining strong new-store productivity and driving our e-commerce business.”
He emphasized that Dick’s will continue to invest in the coming year, including in e-commerce. Dick’s projected total capital expenditures of $420 million in fiscal 2016, compared to $370 million in the past 12 months. Company executives have indicated that there will be $21 million to $25 million in incremental investment in e-commerce in 2016 as Dick’s brings its online selling platform in-house.
The retailer is in the process of ending a decade of outsourcing web sales to GSI Commerce, now part of eBay Enterprise. EBay Inc. spun off its eBay Enterprise technology unit in July. Dick’s already has moved its GolfGalaxy.com and FieldandStream.com e-commerce sites to its new platform, and it projects completing the transition by January 2017.
The company has said hosting its own e-commerce technology will save money. Stack told analysts Thursday that the move will improve the retailer’s operating margin by about 30 basis points, or 0.30%, a saving of roughly $24-25 million in 2017. Taking control of the technology, company executives say, also allows Dick’s to add new features, such as shipping online orders from stores. Dick’s operates 644 Dick’s Sporting Goods stores in the United States, 73 Golf Galaxy stores and 19 Field and Stream Stores.
For the fiscal fourth quarter ended Jan. 30, Dick’s reported:
- Net sales of $2.240 billion, an increase of 3.7% from $2.160 billion in the prior-year quarter.
- E-commerce penetration increased to 15.7% of sales from 14.4%. That suggests online sales increased 13.1% to $351.7 million from $311.0 million.
- Net income of $128.99 million, a 17.1% decrease from $155.54 million.
For the 2015 fiscal year ended Jan. 30, Dick’s reported:
- Net sales of $7.271 billion, an increase of 6.7% from $6.814 billion.
- E-commerce penetration increased to 10.3% of sales from 9.2%. That suggests online sales for the year totaled $748.9 million, up 19.5% from $626.9 million.
- Net income declined 4.0% to $330.4 million from $344.2 million