Abercrombie’s direct-to-consumer sales, which include web transactions and sales placed online from within a store, jumped an estimated 10.7% in the fourth quarter.

 

Abercrombie & Fitch Co.’s omnichannel efforts are starting to pay off. The retailer’s direct-to-consumer sales, which include web transactions and sales placed online from within a store, rose roughly 10.7% in the fiscal fourth quarter ended Jan. 28, while total sales fell 6.9%.

Abercrombie’s sales fell short of its fourth quarter guidance, but CEO Fran Horowitz says the retailer made “significant progress on each of our strategic priorities” last year. Abercrombie promoted Horowitz to CEO in late January. She had been president and chief merchandising officer.

“We continued to proactively respond to the evolving retail landscape through our store closure and channel optimization initiatives,” Horowitz says. The retailer reduced its store count by 32 in the fourth quarter. “We also stayed close to our customers to understand what inspires them, which helped inform our planning and execution. We began to communicate evolved identities for each of our brands and made improvements to the customer experience through the rollout of store remodels, and ongoing investments in direct-to-consumer and omnichannel capabilities across both [Abercrombie and Hollister] brands.”

For instance, Abercrombie, No. 58 in the Internet Retailer 2016 Top 500 Guide, last February opened a new store concept in which store associates are tasked with helping shoppers place and pick up online orders in store.

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For the fiscal fourth quarter ended Jan. 28, Abercrombie reported:

  • Total revenue of $036 billion down 6.9% from $1.113 billion in fiscal Q4 2015.
  • Direct-to-consumer and omnichannel sales accounted for 31% of net sales, up from 28% a year earlier. That translates to an estimated $345.0 million in direct-to-consumer sales, up 10.7% from an estimated $311.6 million.
  • Comparable-store sales, which include U.S. and international, declined 6%. U.S. comparable-store sales also decreased 6%. Comparable-store sales do not include e-commerce.
  • Net income was $48.8 million down 15.4% from $57.7 million.

For fiscal 2016, Abercrombie reported:

  • Total revenue of $3.327 billion down 5.5% from $3.519 billion in fiscal 2015.
  • Direct-to-consumer and omnichannel sales of an estimated $878.6 million, up 5.7% from an estimated $831.0 million.

Net income was $7.7 million, down 80.1% from   $38.6 million.

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