FatFace powers ahead in UK, sees major US growth potential
FatFace saw its sales exceeding pre-pandemic levels in the festive season as the five weeks to January 3 resulted in sales 3% higher than the equivalent period two years ago.
And given that lockdowns and other restrictions were in force a year ago, sales rose as much as 22% year-on-year.
Its most popular product categories included knitwear and nightwear during the festive season and "in a highly promotional market, FatFace maintained a full-price proposition throughout the peak trading period”.
It also said a “strong focus on supply chain management and customer services helped mitigate the wider challenges impacting the sector”.
The company was boosted by online sales with a rise of as much as 62% on a two-year comparison, which was ahead of expectations. Digital sales were up 21% on the year, driven by average order value up 14%.
And the business digital mix was 47%, up from 28% two years ago.
Meanwhile, international sales rose 24% (or 48% on a two-year comparison) driven its by focus on customer acquisition in the US market and strong own-channel e-commerce growth.
A number of companies are seeing huge double-digit (and sometimes triple-digit) rises online compared to 2019 as the events of the past two years have seen them investing in ramping up their e-commerce ops to meet the demands of the ‘new normal’ in retail.
But the company continues to build on its physical stores business too and has 180 stores. CEO Will Crumbie talked up the productivity of the store estate. And he added that the US business has continued to grow strongly “and gives us a great platform for future growth".
The firm also said that sales in the six months to November 27 increased 4% to £125 million compared to 2019 and rose 58% on the year. Some 38% of sales were online against 25% two years ago.
It added that its international business was up 92% year-on-year in the six-month period (or 33% on two years ago). International is now 7% of the total business, helped by US e-commerce that was up 143% on the year and 118% on two years, despite the challenges with supply chain delays and the pandemic.
Profitability on an EBITDA basis has also “returned to pre-pandemic levels, with a positive net cash position”.
The company has expanded its offer and its reach in the last year and has begun selling on the Marks & Spencer website while launching its first babywear collection to grow its overall kidswear offer.
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