Quiz on a roll, sales soar on UK, Spain and Germany expansion
Fast-expanding UK fashion retailer Quiz Clothing really is on a roll. Fresh from its recent IPO, it has reported another powerful rise in revenue with a 35% increase in the six month to September 30. The company sold £56.1 million worth of products compared to £41.5 million a year ago and said its gross margins remain “in line with expectations”.
The strong growth in H1 reflected its continued expansion in the UK and targeted international markets, as well as its focus on omnichannel, it said.
Despite the tough market in Britain, sales in its UK standalones and concessions increased by 15% to £32.3m. It opened one new standalone store but also closed one and while that might make it look as if expanding store space isn’t much of a priority, the fact that it plans to open a further five standalones prior to Christmas shows that physical space expansion is key to its strategy.
International growth is also a major focus for the brand and it started to open new stores abroad during the first half with three standalone stores in Madrid, which are its first owned standalone stores outside the UK and the Republic of Ireland. It also expects to open one additional store in the Republic of Ireland before Christmas.
It expanded its international franchise operations too during the first half, increasing them from 65 units to 76, including new franchise units in Dubai, the UAE and Morocco.
That all gave huge boost to non-UK turnover with international sales in H1 (excluding some non-recurring wholesale revenue) up 25%, or 23% in constant currency, to £10 million.
But it was online where the big growth opportunity came. Online revenue surged by 204% in the period to £13.8 million. Sales through its own websites rose by 122% in H1 and should rise further during the second half as it opened its first localised website in Spain last month. It also saw strong growth in sales made through existing and new third-party websites, which included the benefit of starting e-sales through Next exactly a year ago and through Zalando in Germany in May this year.
That e-sales growth was made possible by the opening of a new 180,000 sq ft distribution centre during the summer of 2016 with 2017’s H1 benefitting from the extra/faster capacity the centre gave it.
And to support all of this, the company also said that “increased and effective” marketing spend, particularly through digital channels, and the broadening of the product ranges available to customers were key sales drivers too.
CEO Tarak Ramzan was understandably upbeat: "Our IPO in July 2017 was a hugely important milestone for the company as we continue to build the Quiz brand as a global fast-fashion destination. [It] has a distinct USP, a strong customer connection and fast-fashion in its DNA. Our customer base is growing strongly and we are confident of delivering further growth.”
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