Superdry has reported a drop in revenue for the first half of the year,
slightly offset by a jump in e-commerce sales, in what has been a tough
year for physical retail.
For the six months to 24 October, total revenue fell 23.3 percent
compared to the same period last year, comprising a 24.1 percent drop in
the first quarter and a slightly smaller 22.8 percent drop in the
The British fashion retailer said this drop reflected “the challenging
trading environment as a result of continued disruption from Covid-19”,
with its stores post-first-lockdown still impacted by Covid-related
measures suppressing footfall, particularly in large city centre
Like-for-like store sales in the last six weeks of H1 were down 32.4
percent, with poor footfall in the UK partially offset by stronger
performance in Europe where footfall declines have been less severe.
As of 5 November, 122 of its stores have been temporarily closed across
England, Wales, France, Belgium and Ireland amid new lockdowns – 117 stores
are still open and trading.
Wholesale also continued to be impacted by the pandemic. The retailer
said performance in Q2 in part reflects later phasing of AW20 forward order
deliveries, with 68 percent shipped year to date compared to 84 percent at
the same time last year.
Online sales offer slight relief
E-commerce offered some respite for the company, performing well and
strengthening through Q2 21. Like-for-like sales were up 51.9 percent in
the last six weeks of H1, an improvement driven by owned site sales which
increased 68.9 percent year-on-year coinciding with the launch of its new
AW20 product and the targeted clearance of aged stock.
Superdry said increased promotional activity in the period in response
to Covid-19 hit its gross margin. However, that has been partially offset
by its focus on cost management and cash preservation actions, the company
“Covid-19 continues to disrupt our store and wholesale channels, but
this is being partially mitigated by strong sales through our e-commerce
operations,” CEO Julian Dunkerton said in a statement.
“This has been an important period for Superdry, with the launch of our
full Autumn/Winter 20 ranges and a true focus on using our social channels
to reach our customers and bring our brand reset to life. This activity is
delivering record levels of engagement through our influencer-led Autumn
campaigns, and we will focus our energies in this area over the coming
months led by our new chief marketing officer, Justin Lodge.
“The external outlook is very uncertain. However, we have financial
flexibility and are making good progress with our strategy and brand reset.
We are determined to do the right thing by all our stakeholders – including
colleagues, our retail and wholesale customers and investors – to ensure
the business and brand returns to success.”
Photo credit: Superdry