MERRIMACK, N.H.-Increased sales and improved gross margin enabled Brookstone to reduce its first-quarter net loss to $16.7 million from $19.1 million in last year’s first quarter.
Net sales rose 11 percent to $89.1 million in the quarter, which ended on March 31. This included a gain of 5.9 percent in sales from its retail stores, which in itself included an increase of 7.9 percent in same-store sales. In addition, Brookstone posted a 26.1 percent jump in e-commerce sales and a 48.7 percent pickup in sales from its alternative-distribution channel, which includes its wholesale business.
Gross margin rose 292 basis points to 22.7 percent. Selling, general and administrative expenses rose 6.1 percent in dollars but fell 172 basis points as a percentage of sales, to 36 percent.
Jim Speltz, Brookstone’s chief operating officer, said the company’s first quarter was characterized by “expansion of our product assortment in our e-commerce segment, improved interactive selling efforts in our retail stores and increased sales to our wholesale and corporate partners.”