“Superdry is recovering well from the disruption of the Covid-19 pandemic,” according to its founder and CEO, Julian Dunkerton.
In its half year results, the global clothing brand revealed that store revenue has begun to recover and is up more than 21 per cent year-on-year.
However, revenues declined by 2.4 per cent when compared with the year-earlier period and 25 per cent when compared with the first half of fiscal 2020.
Julian Dunkerton, Founder and Chief Executive Officer, said: “Superdry is recovering well from the disruption of the Covid-19 pandemic and I am really pleased with the start to the Autumn/Winter 2021 season, despite the ongoing disruption around the world. Once the new range landed and we began trading against a comparable full price period, we saw an acceleration into positive 2-year retail like-for-like growth. Our focus on full-price sales continues to deliver improvements in gross margin and I am pleased that we are ending the half with 10 per cent fewer inventory units than last year. We are encouraged by the performance this strategy is starting to deliver, which gives me further confidence in the full year outlook.
“As consumers continue to return to stores, I am really excited about the opening of our new flagship store in Oxford Street on November 10th which will be a big statement about the future of the brand, offering the broadest range of sustainable product in our portfolio. It will showcase the full spectrum of our new ranges and will become a London base for the wholesale showroom and our influencer programme, which is a key pillar of the brand’s digital first strategy.
“The improvement in trading in our Retail channels across the 8-week period has been encouraging, as we have exited sale and fully launched our AW21 collection. As anticipated, the full-price performance seen through the Summer has translated into stronger overall performance going into the peak Autumn months. Our core categories are resonating well, with AW21 jackets particularly strong. Womenswear mix is up 8%pts vs FY20 and represented 8 of our 10 top selling products in October.”
Much of the recent improvement has been delivered by Ecommerce, which is up 6.6 per cent on a two-year basis. This performance has been supported by Superdry’s growing investment into social marketing.
However, the pandemic continues to materially impact physical store trading. First half performance was negatively impacted by temporary closures in Europe, as well as the permanent closure of 15 stores (including Regent Street in July). Footfall remains subdued in all markets and was still down 27% in the UK despite the easing of Covid-related restrictions. However, even against these headwinds, Store revenue has begun to recover and is up 21.7 year-on-year. The run-rate has also improved over the period on a 2-year basis as high-street footfall gradually returns.
It says its’ focus on full-price continues to deliver increased profitability and in H1 has resulted in an improvement in gross margin across both Stores and Ecommerce year-on-year.
However, iine with the rest of the sector, the impact of global supply chain delays has been greater on its wholesale channel due to the need to consolidate stock to fulfil orders. Despatches are 4-6 weeks behind plan as a result of intake delays.
Despite the drag experienced from Europe re-opening later than the UK and US, Wholesale revenue in H1 increased 1.2% year-on-year.