Retail chain Carter’s charts investment in digital capabilities

Retail chain Carter’s announced its investment in digital capabilities to ship online orders from stores – as part of its digital initiatives.
Carter’s digital plansCarter’s will test the new service that is designed to speed up the fulfillment of e-commerce orders later this year. Carter’s is selling its brands through our e-commerce capabilities in about 85 countries and relationships with retailers throughout the world.

Carter’s believes that it has the best performing branded website for young children’s apparel in the United States with twice the share of its nearest online competitor. Carter’s CIO Janet Sherlock is driving its digital transformation investments.

In 2017 international consumers ranked as one of their top three favorite websites during the holiday shopping season together with Amazon and Ralph Lauren. Carter’s noted less demand than expected from international consumers shopping online in the fourth quarter.

Carter’s will be adding new capabilities to strengthen the consumer’s shopping experience. Carter’s will ensure same-day pick up of online orders in its stores. Nearly 15 percent of its online customers choose the free ship to store option and about a quarter of those customers increase their purchase when they visit stores.

Carter’s e-commerce sales grew to 32 percent of U.S. retail sales in the fourth quarter, up 3 percentage points from the prior year, Carter’s CEO Michael D. Casey said during an analyst call.

Online sales of brands to top wholesale e-commerce customers grew over 30 percent last year. It expects online sales of brands to exceed $1 billion next year with the support of our wholesale customers.

Carter’s is forecasting over $4 billion in annual sales by 2023 and about $500 million in operating income. Carter’s CFO Richard F Westenberger is driving the company’s cost optimization efforts.

Carter’s sales increased $61.8 million, or 1.8 percent, to $3.5 billion, reflecting growth in the company’s U.S. retail and international segments, in 2018.

Carter’s operating income fell $28.2 million, or 6.7 percent, to $391.4 million, compared to $419.6 million in 2017. Operating margin in decreased 100 basis points to 11.3 percent, compared to 12.3 percent in 2017.

It plans to close over 10 percent of stores in the United States as the leases expire. It plans to replace the sales of closed stores by opening over 100 more profitable co-branded stores in better centers. Carter’s are selling young children’s apparel brand via over 17,000 stores in the United States.

Rajani Baburajan

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