Quiz on a roll as sales surge at home and abroad
Quiz’s trading update on Thursday made pleasing reading with the company saying that the year ended March 31 saw “strong omnichannel growth across UK and international markets.”
The fast fashion womenswear brand announced group revenue rising 30% in line with expectations to £116.4 million, and when £4.4 million of non-recurring wholesale revenue from Spain is excluded, revenues managed an even better rise of 36%.
Included in that undeniably impressive figure was an even more impressive leap in online sales. They rose 158% to £30.6 million through both its own websites and third-party ones, but it said that while the latter have been particularly strong, they do incur higher costs due to the payment of commission.
The company said that the rapid growth in online revenues reflects the “continued benefits of the increased and effective marketing spend undertaken during the year and the broadening of our overall product ranges which includes the successful launch of our Curve and Bridal ranges.”
Meanwhile international underlying sales rose 32% to £21.2 million with the opening of new standalone stores in Spain and Ireland, as well as new franchise stores across established markets.
But do those good figures for online and international mean that growth was more muted in its UK stores?
Well, yes - but UK growth certainly isn’t faltering as it is for some of Quiz’s retail peers. In fact, UK store and concession revenues were up 12% to £64.6 million, so it seem that Quiz is weathering the current fashion retail storm better than many in the sector.
Sales growth in the group's UK standalone stores and concessions was achieved from a “strong” comparable performance (but it didn’t give a figure) and through new store and concession openings. It opened five new standalone stores and seven new concessions during the year and since the period ended, has also opened a new standalone store in Bluewater.
With a few strategic closures taken into account, it means Quiz now has more than 300 standalone stores, concessions, franchise stores, wholesale partners and international online partners in 20 countries, with 71 stores and 147 concessions in the UK.
The company also said that gross margins were in line with expectations, but the business incurred operating costs “slightly higher than originally planned [due to] the earlier than anticipated investment in a number of central functions including our buying, merchandising and marketing teams.”
Quiz will report its full results on June 5 and that will certainly be a milestone announcement for the firm as it will be the first since its IPO last July.
For now, CEO Tarak Ramzan said: “This strong performance reflects the growing strength of the Quiz brand and the continued growth across each of our sales channels and target markets. We look forward to expanding the brand as a global fast fashion destination with initiatives such as the launch of own language international websites and the continued expansion of our product range."
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