In The Style prospers post-lockdown despite higher returns rate
Fast fashion group In The Style released a trading update ahead of its annual general meeting on Friday and said that it continues to deliver strong sales growth.
The e-tailer, which focuses on womenswear via an influencer collaboration model, said the period from April to August saw revenues rising 45% year-on-year and e-commerce Gross Order Value (GOV) almost 50% ahead.
“This performance has been driven by the increasing profile and awareness of In The Style's differentiated brand”, it said, as well as “the continued expansion of the group's influencer collaboration model, including the launch of nine new partnerships during the period, and increased customer demand reflecting the return of social events during the summer”.
Its primary operational KPIs of website traffic, customer conversion, average order value, and order frequency all showed “strong improvements” against the prior year.
Its app also “continued to deliver strong levels of consumer engagement”, with app sales increasing to 62% of total e-commerce sales. That was up from 53% a year ago.
But its new strategic wholesale partnerships, including the launch in 100 Asda stores in May, also played their part. They “supported good levels of customer engagement and resulted in wholesale sales significantly increasing by in excess of 200% year-on-year”.
The company saw a shift in demand towards occasionwear during the period as society opened up again post-lockdown. Typically, this comes with a higher rate of returns than the leisurewear categories that dominated the sales mix during the prior year.
Returns have also been added to by the firm’s “faster than anticipated progress on growing sales of [its] more inclusive size ranges”. But while the returns rate affected the final sales figures, the company still managed to turn in net e-commerce sales that were 25% ahead of the prior year.
It added that it hasn’t been immune to the impact of the widely documented freight and supply chain disruption of recent months. And increased freight costs and disruption to the timing of shipments “are expected to remain for at least the remainder of the current financial year which, in combination with the increased returns rate in the period, will impact the group's profitability”.
That said, it still thinks it’s “very well positioned to continue its strong growth trajectory and deliver its exciting long-term potential”.
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