Apparel brand Express Inc. generated $609.0 million in ecommerce sales in 2018, a 19.6% increase over the previous year and amounting to 28.7% of overall revenue, the retailer disclosed in an earnings release. For the fourth quarter ending Feb. 2, ecommerce grew 5% year over year to $203.3 million. Express is No. 97 in the Internet Retailer 2018 Top 1000.
Despite the ecommerce growth, total sales were down 2.0% to $2.12 billion for the year and fell 10.2% year over year in the fourth quarter.
This is the last quarter Express will break out ecommerce sales in its reporting as it puts more emphasis on integrating online and offline retail experiences, according to chief financial officer Perry Pericleous on an earnings call transcribed by Seeking Alpha. The retailer reported an increase in ship-from-store sales, ecommerce orders started in stores (such as those to get a size or style not in stock at the current store) and returns to stores.
In other earnings news:
- Ulta Beauty (No. 91) increased ecommerce sales 35.4% for 2018 and 25.1%% year over year in the fourth quarter ending Feb. 2. Exact figures were not disclosed. The ecommerce growth was slightly lower than the beauty retailer had expected, in part because it didn’t fully anticipate customers shifting to stores to try out digitally native brands like Morphe and Kylie Cosmetics, CEO Mary Dillon said on an earnings call transcribed by Seeking Alpha. Those brands, normally available only online, proved a draw to Ulta stores instead of its website. Net sales increased 14.1% to $6.72 billion.
Ulta is also rolling out its first “fast fulfillment center,” a distribution center dedicated to ecommerce shipments that can send out 30,000 orders per day during peak periods, helping the beauty chain achieve two-day free shipping on every order by 2021. The first will open this summer in Illinois, with another in Florida coming online in 2020, the retailer announced.
- Adidas AG (No. 61) increased ecommerce sales 36% in 2018 to more than 2 billion euros ($2.26 billion), but the shoe brand didn’t break out exact figures. Total sales grew just 3% for the year to 21.92 billion euro ($24.81 billion).
- Apparel retailer The Buckle Inc. (No. 393) grew ecommerce revenue 5.6% for the fiscal year ending Feb. 2, with $103.7 million generated online. Overall sales decreased 3.1% for the year to $885.5 million.