I Saw It First sales rise on UK strength, but early-stage losses widen
UK fashion e-tailer I Saw It First has seen sales in its domestic market soaring, despite a drop in international revenues in the latest financial year, accounts filed at Companies House showed this week.
In the year to 3 October, sales overall rose 30% to reach £74.7 million but the company remains loss-making with a £7.7 million deficit on a pre-tax basis. This was wider than the £7.5 million loss of the previous year.
The company, which was founded by Jalal Kamani (brother of Boohoo co-founder Mahmud Kamani), saw its UK sales rising to £69.3 million from £50.9 million in the previous year. However, sales to the EU fell to £4.5 million from £5.7 million and in the rest of the world they dipped from £1 million to £915,000.
The losses at the firm are no surprise given that it was only founded in 2017 and losses are a common occurrence at such online businesses in the early years. However, its revenue shows that it's continuing to expand and it currently has a customer base of more than 3 million people, with a focus on the female shopper aged 30 and under.
The company said in the accounts that it will “continue to focus on our domestic markets which we think we can further penetrate”. But at the same time, it's actively targeting English-speaking markets such as Australia and the US.
And perhaps as a reaction to the controversies that have surrounded some in the fast fashion sector (including Boohoo), it added: “The company would like to become an industry leader in applying the best internal controls and processes to ensure supplier compliance and ethical policies are adhered to and we have made a number of senior appointments in the year, which demonstrates our commitment to an agenda of change in the industry.”
Those changes included ex-Matalan deputy CEO Greg Pateras joining as its CEO, while the firm’s tech and logistics chief Andrew Stevenson-Thorpe, CFO Mo Marzouk and director Shahzad Irshad left the business.
I Saw It First said that its new management team “will continue to build on the foundations already laid and will be looking to further evolve and differentiate the proposition to capitalise on the already sizeable customer base and high growth online sector”.
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