Crew Clothing sales and profits rise as tennis link and webstore revamp pay off
Crew Clothing has benefited from investment in the brand and a Lawn Tennis Association (LTA) collab with the company’s latest results showing it has bucked the downturn in the UK fashion sector.
The tennis link-up that began in the summer of 2018 is important for the label, but despite this, the men’s and women’s fashion brand has evolved from its earlier sports-focused positioning into an everyday fashion offer and this seems to have paid off. It said sales rose 3.1% to £61.1 million in its 2018 financial year, while its pre-tax, pre-exceptionals underlying profit rose 52% to £5.1 million. That reflected “payback from prior period investments and growth in revenue across all channels”. This also helped net profit rise to £2.78 million from £838,000 a year earlier.
The 26-year-old company, which was founded in Devon by Alistair Parker-Swift, has 81 UK stores and employs almost 740 people.
Company chief David Butler said the LTA sponsorship link helped the brand target core suburbanite customers in their 40s and added that "despite widespread difficulties across the UK retail sector, our performance is indicative of the resilience of a certain segment of UK consumers and their continued willingness to buy products which offer exceptional quality at reasonable price points”.
But it’s not limiting itself to just one consumer group and its results report added that “although we are careful not to deviate too far from our core, we believe the Crew Clothing brand appeals to an increasingly broad core consumer base and is capable of further expansion.”
That expansion drive also means a big focus on the product offer and on digital. The product range has been expanded and its webstore revamped. This appears to have paid off and online currently accounts for around a third of its sales in total, with e-sales rising fast. In the current year, store sales may only have risen 2%, but online sales have risen by a quarter.
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