Bombay Company looks to Internet for growth

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Internet marketing is one of the strategies The Bombay Company is focusing on as it tries to reinvigorate sales and cut costs. The Forth Worth, TX-based multichannel home décor and furniture merchant's continuing anemic sales have coincided with a weak U.S. housing market.

For the first quarter ended May 5, Bombay's revenue declined 11.9 percent to $104.6 million. Same-store sales decreased 10.2 percent during the same period. However, Bombay's direct-to-consumer business reached $8.5 million compared to $6.6 million last year. This growth was driven primarily by an increase in Internet sales, according to the company.

"We believe that our Internet strategy continues to present an excellent opportunity to leverage our expense base into meaningful, profitable growth," David B. Stewart, CEO of Bombay, said in a statement.

During the first quarter the company shifted its marketing focus to e-mail marketing and reduced its reliance on other marketing vehicles, resulting in a $8.1 million reduction in selling, general and administrative costs compared to last year.

In the past month Bombay launched free in-store pickup for online orders. Since its launch, the offering is tracking well and has experienced significant growth.

Bombay's net loss for the quarter ended May 5 was $15.4 million, or 42 cents a share, compared to a net loss of $15.6 million, or 43 cents a share, for the first quarter of last year.

The company also announced Friday that it has received two notices from the NYSE Regulation Inc. that it is not in compliance with New York Stock Exchange continued listing requirements because the average close share price of Bombay's common stock over a consecutive 30-day trading period was less than $1.

In addition, the company's 30-day average market capitalization and stockholders' equity had both fallen below $75 million.

Bombay said in the statement Friday that it intends to notify NYSE Regulation within 10 days that it intends to cure the deficiencies.

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