Web sales lose steam in the last quarter
The last quarter was a tough one for merchants that reported web sales in mid-June through early July. Four retailers – American Greetings Corp., Coldwater Creek Inc., Neiman Marcus Group and The Talbots Inc. – reported a drop in quarterly web sales compared with just two — Coastal Contacts Inc. and Foot Locker Inc. – that posted higher e-commerce revenue. First quarter web sales at Nordstrom Inc. remained flat year over year at $149 million. Coastal Contacts cites growing web demand for affordable contact lenses and related eyeware as the prime reason Internet sales in the second fiscal quarter increased 16.3%. Web sales at Coldwater Creek dropped 27.2% as the company continues to emphasize stores over e-commerce and catalogs. For the retailers reporting quarterly results in the last month, their combined sales declined year over year 5.4% to $473.2 million from $500.1 million.

More of the same: web sales top comparable-store sales
Web sales outpaced or didn’t decline as much as comparable-store sales for three of four chain retailers that broke out Q1 web sales in the past month. At Foot Locker Inc. web sales rose as comparable-store sales dropped, while Nordstrom reported flat web sales but a decrease in same-store sales of 13.2%. First quarter web sales decreased at The Talbots Inc., but not nearly as much as comparable-store sales that declined year over year by 26.9%. Coldwater Creek Inc. continues to emphasize bricks and mortar over e-commerce: Q1 web sales dropped 27.2% as comp-store sales decreased 19%.