Plus, Hibbett Sports' first full year of ecommerce, Lands' End sees big mobile growth and Next's stores life online profits.

Nike Inc.’s online sales grew 36% year over year to surpass $1 billion in quarterly revenue for its fiscal third quarter ended Feb. 28. It didn’t break out exact online sales, but CEO Matt Parker said on an earnings call transcribed by Seeking Alpha this was the first time it passed that milestone in a single quarter. Nike is No. 27 in the Internet Retailer 2018 Top 1000.

Parker attributed the retailer’s growth to its investments in digital tools, like the retailer’s SNKRS app that sells limited edition shoes that usually sell out in minutes. The app generated “triple-digit” growth in the quarter over last year, he said.

During the quarter Nike expanded the number of custom options it offers consumers online. It also launched its app in Japan ahead of the Tokyo 2020 Olympics, helping propel online sales growth in Asia to 60% for the quarter.

Nike’s digital tools are also helping boost sales that originate in the retailer’s stores. Its Nike App at Retail program, which offers in-store discounts through the app, boosts average sales in stores by 40%, Parker said. And members of its loyalty program are keen to try the digital experiences in stores, making up more than half of shoppers at the New York and Shanghai “House of Innovation” stores that offer customizable options delivered via ecommerce channel and is stocked based on local data from stores and ecommerce.

In other earnings news:

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  • Sporting goods retail Hibbett Sports generated 10.6% of its revenue from ecommerce operations in the fourth quarter ended Feb. 2. That’s $3.8 million, which is a 60% increase over the same period last year. For the full year, Hibbett generated $87.6 million in online sales, according to an Internet Retailer analysis. This is the first full fiscal year Hibbett has operated an online store, but has already rolled out buy online pickup in store options and a mobile app.
  • Outdoor apparel brand Lands’ End (No. 51) grew online U.S. sales by a double-digit percentage for the fourth quarter ended Feb. 1, according to CEO Jerome Griffith in a call transcribed by Seeking Alpha, but didn’t disclose exact figures. Growth in mobile transactions was particularly robust, growing three times as fast as total sales increased, Griffith said. And mobile traffic exceeded desktop traffic for the first time during the quarter.
  • Apparel retailer Next PLC, No. 21 in the Internet Retailer Europe 500, generated 1.92 billion pounds ($2.53 billion) in online sales in 2018, a 14.6% increase over the previous year. Ecommerce accounted for 46.5% of total sales, but physical stores helped Next keep profits up—the retailer offers free shipping to stores, where it’s cheaper to fulfill the orders with bulk shipments, but charges a 3.99-pound ($5.27) fee for home deliveries. And Next said 80% of returned online purchases are returned to stores, also keeping costs low. Profits were up 13.8% to 352.6 million pounds ($465.7 million) for its online business during the year, but down 0.4% across the entire company to 772.9 million pounds ($1.02 billion).
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