The retailers join the top-10 fastest retailer websites on Internet Retailer’s April desktop performance index.

Department store retailer Sears Holdings Corp. and apparel retailer American Eagle Outfitters Inc. took steps to enhance their desktop performance and registered the biggest improvements among retailers on the Internet Retailer desktop performance index for the month of April.

Sears is No. 14 in the newly released Internet Retailer 2017 Top 1000 and American Eagle is No. 63.

The April index monitored Internet Retailer’s Top 100 retailers’ desktop home pages between March 27-April 9, according to data provided by digital performance analytics company Catchpoint Systems Inc. Catchpoint provides Internet Retailer with two monthly site performance indexes, one for mobile sites and one for desktop sites.

Sears and American Eagle both made the top 10 list in April for the first time this year. Sears moved up 28 spots to No. 2 and American Eagle rocketing up 90 spots to No. 5.

Sears restructured its website in late March, which has had a very positive impact on performance.


Sears optimized elements on its page and American Eagle removed heavy elements, which allowed these two retailers to increase their site speed.

Sears loaded, on average, in 1.26 seconds during the two-week survey period in April compared with 2.61 seconds in March.

“Sears restructured its website in late March, which has had a very positive impact on performance,” a Catchpoint spokesman says. “Metrics such as page size, hosts, redirects, images and scripts have all been optimized, making the website significantly faster.”


American Eagle also was one of the most-improved retailers on the April mobile performance index and for the same reason: The retailer has removed several YouTube videos from its homepage, a Catchpoint spokesman says.

“Several embedded YouTube videos have been removed, and when coupled with the drop in the number of hosts and items, this has made a hugely positive difference in the web page load time,” he says. The retailer had an average web page load time of 1.43 seconds in April compared with 6.43 seconds on the March index.

For the two weeks of March 27-April 9, the Top 100 retailers’ average load time was 3.54 seconds compared with 3.43 seconds the previous month. The average page weight was 2.73 megabytes compared with 2.58 megabytes the previous month, and the average number of hosts was 47 compared with 48. The average number of items was 166 compared with 168 a month ago. The 100 sites were, on average, 99.94% available for March 27-April 9 compared with 99.90% available for Feb. 27-March 12. These are the 100 leading North American retail sites by online sales, according to

Catchpoint Systems monitors each website’s home page with measurements taken from Catchpoint Systems’ in-country or in-region monitoring nodes, at intervals of five minutes for two weeks each month. Backbone monitoring nodes are the locations of Catchpoint’s devices that are near data centers operated by the main internet service providers that provide service to a city. The nodes simulate end-user contact with each website. Catchpoint monitors webpage load time, availability, hosts and items.


They are defined as follows:

Web page load time: The time it takes for enough page elements to load for a consumer to begin interacting with a page, such as searching, tapping or scrolling. From a consumer point of view, the time it takes for the progress bar or spinning wheel to stop.

Availability: The percentage of time during the two-week test week that the site can be successfully reached by a consumer.

Host: Any domain that delivers data, content or services over the internet to the site.


Items or Requests: Webpage components, such as files or images that a page loads from internal and external hosts or domains. These can include PDFs, PNGs, JPEGs and GIFs.