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Mar 31, 2016
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New report reveals top 10 fastest-growing UK retailers

Published
Mar 31, 2016

For the fourth year in a row, consulting firm AlixPartners has released its UK Growth Retailer Report, which names the ten fastest-growing retailers in Britain.

Photo: AlixPartners


"2015 was another challenging year for retail. One could argue it was a game of two halves; pre-election and post-election. In the end, pre-election uncertainty as to the outcome of an unpredictable vote led to minimal activity from retailers and consumers. Thereafter, post-election clarity, much to the industry’s great frustration, also led to minimal activity from retailers and consumers," said AlixPartners Director Dan Coen.

To find the ten-fastest growing companies, the report looked at their EBITDA and exceptional items with directors’ remuneration added back in. To qualify, companies had to have a turnover of at least £30m and profits of more than £3m in their latest accounts. They must also have two consecutive years of growth and have been profitable in all three years. In addition, they must be registered in the UK and be independent companies.

The resulting top ten is:
* Shop Direct, the home shopping giant
* Savers, a health and beauty retailer
* Gemporia, which sells gemstones via TV and online
* Edinburgh Woollen Mill, the clothing retailer that specialises in woollens and knitwear
* Tiger Retail, the Danish homeware company
* Dune, a specialist footwear retailer
* VictoriaPlum, an online bathroom retailer
* Space NK, the British health and beauty retailer
* Mint Velvet, a womenswear clothing retailer at the top end of the high street
* Whistles, the women's luxury fashion retailer.

The report underlines the importance of multichannel operations, stating: "Multichannel developments have underpinned the growth of many of the retailers profiled in this report, but it is interesting to see that a variety of different strategies are being used. This year’s winner of the growth retailer of the year award, Shop Direct, has undergone a digital transformation in recent years and now generates all of its revenues online, having scrapped its last remaining catalogue last year. Other businesses such as fashion retailers Whistles and Mint Velvet now generate over a fifth of their sales through the online channel and this is also impacting their plans for physical expansion."

However, two of the brands on the list - Savers and Tiger Retail - don't have transactional websites at all, proving that it is still possible to grow by attracting customers to spend in stores.

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