NEW YORK — Rising sales and significant cost reductions helped Bluefly Inc. narrow its loss in the first quarter.
For the three months ended March 31, the New York-based online discount retailer pared its loss to $2.2 million, or 15 cents a diluted share, compared with a loss of $2.7 million, or 25 cents, reported in the year-ago quarter, while sales jumped 34.6 percent to $11.1 million from $8.3 million a year ago.
Driving the improvement was the firm’s success at reducing costs. For the quarter, cost of sales fell over 1,000 basis points to $7.3 million, or 66 percent of sales. Comparatively, cost of sales came in at $6.4 million, or 77.5 percent of sales, in the year-ago period.
“The fact that we were able to increase both revenue and gross margin so significantly with a lower inventory investment than we had last year illustrates the impact that this strategy can have,” said president Melissa Payner in a statement.
Despite recording only one quarter of profitability in its five-year history, which was the previous quarter, management is confident that Bluefly will be a rare dot-com success story.
Average order size for the quarter rose 13.4 percent to $189.56 from $167.20, according to Bluefly, and repeat customers upped their average order by 15.7 percent to $202.67 from $175.18. The firm also attracted 33,335 new customers, a 23.3 percent gain from the 27,031 new customers reported in the year-ago period. — Ross Tucker