Express Plans to Capitalize on Ecommerce Growth

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Express plans to capitalize on ecommerce after it saw double-digit growth in 2013. Ecommerce sales saw an increase of 15.3% for the full year, according to its fourth-quarter earnings call.

Michael Weiss, chairman and CEO of Express, said on March 13 that there are plans in place to invest in higher targeted marketing efforts for social media, digital and mobile tactics.   The company had reached its 15% goal quicker than expected.

“We continue to invest in this area and while we don’t see any need to set a new target, we once again expect ecommerce to deliver double-digit growth in 2014,” said Weiss.

To support the growth in 2014,  there are plans in place for a variety of website enhancements as well as  enhancements to the mobile platform.

According to Weiss, a different phase of these uptakes completed their progress towards being a true omnichannel retailer.

Store locations  are already ordering online to fulfill customer requests or items not available in a particular store, according to Weiss.  The company’s next shift will be from stores with an ultimate objective to one universal view of the inventory, so that turns can be maximized, marked down, minimized and customer orders filled more quickly.

Net sales for the fourth quarter was $716 million, a decrease of 2% from 2012.  Without the $27 million assessment with the 53rd week, the fourth quarter increased by 2%.

Ecommerce sales in the fourth quarter saw an increase of $139 million or 14% in the 53-week basis and 18% in the 52-week basis.

For the full year, net sales increased $2.2 billion or 3% over 2012.  On a 52-week basis, net sales increased by 4%.  Ecommerce sales for the 52-week basis was $341 million or 15% of total net sales. Ecommerce net sales grew 25% on a 53-week basis.