Dick’s Sporting Goods unveiled its new website and booked an 11% gain in e-commerce in the fiscal first quarter ended April 29, a three-month period in which same-store sales increased a disappointing 2.4%.
The retailer slowed its online marketing during the first quarter to make sure the revamped DicksSportingGoods.com was working properly, chairman and CEO Edward W. Stack told analysts today on a conference call, according to a transcript from Seeking Alpha. He said web sales picked up later in the quarter and grew by 20% in April.
“There was nothing broken,” Stack said. “There were a couple of bumps in the road to begin that the team quickly fixed and as we did that, we started to increase our marketing and the conversion of the site get better. We’re pretty confident we’ll be fine from an e-commerce standpoint.”
Dick’s early this year completed its transition off of e-commerce technology from the former GSI Commerce. The retailer has not said what e-commerce technology it’s using. Web technology monitor BuiltWith.com shows Oracle Commerce as the provider of e-commerce technology for DicksSportingGoods.com, but for sister site GolfGalaxy.com shows both Oracle and IBM Corp.’s Websphere Commerce.
Dick’s, Oracle and IBM did not immediately respond to requests for comment.
Stack also said Dick’s planned to open new stores more slowly than expected, given that the thousands of retail stores being closed by other merchants is likely to drive down store rents in the future.
“Our view is that we should not be opening a whole lot of stores right now because we’re going to pay a higher rent today than we would two or three years from now,” he said. “That’s why we had to put our hands in our pocket from a store development standpoint right now, focusing on our e-commerce business, focusing on the stores we have now, because we don’t want to get caught in paying rent higher today than we think we’ll pay two years from now.”
E-commerce represented 9.3% of total sales, versus 9.2% in the same quarter a year ago. With net sales totaling $1.825 billion, that implies Dick’s generated nearly $170 million in revenue online during the quarter ended April 29.
Dick’s is No. 56 in the recently released Internet Retailer 2017 Top 500, and is the largest retailer of sporting goods by web sales.
The retailer’s total sales increased 9.9%, but the same-store increase of 2.4% was below company guidance of a 3-4% increase. As of the end of the quarter, Dick’s operated 821 bricks-and-mortar stores in the United States, a 10% increase from 746 a year earlier.
Dick’s has been transitioning to a new e-commerce platform for the last couple of years, and previously had moved its FieldandStreamShop.com site to new technology. Dick’s previously relied on GSI Commerce to handle its online sales. GSI’s e-commerce business was acquired in 2011 by eBay Inc., which spun it off to a company now called Radial in 2015.
Oracle Corp.’s Commerce unit boasts 78 e-commerce platform clients in the Top 500, making it the leading provider of the underlying webstore software to the top online retailers in North America. IBM’s Websphere Commerce is fourth with 40 Top 500 clients.
For the fiscal first quarter ended April 29, Dick’s reported:
- Net sales of $1.825 billion, an increase of 9.9% from $1.660 billion in the same quarter a year earlier.
- Net income of $58.2 million, up 2.3% from $56.9 million.