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Joules enjoys serious omnichannel success, more growth expected for fiscal 2018

Joules continues to sparkle as the UK-based traditional-meets-contemporary women’s, men’s and kids’ omnichannel retailer came up with yet another set of impressive trading figures Wednesday.

For the 52 weeks to May 28, the retailer said its strong product offer – focused on British heritage and unique prints – plus cost controls and margin improvements pushed underlying profit (ebitda) 25.3% higher to £16.9m. Underlying pre-tax profit rose an even stronger 34% to £10.1m.

Group revenue jumped 19.6% to £157m (up 18.6% currency neutral) as Joules’s store sales rose 17.5%, boosted by an extra 11 retail units on a year ago. OK, there was no mention of its same-store sales performance, but e-commerce sales starred, up an impressive 29.4%, and now account for 34.8% of Joules’s total turnover.

In the last year, Joules added new e-tail functionality, making it easier for customers to shop and pay, and continued to increase the use of personalisation. Traffic from mobile and tablet devices grew, representing over 75% of the total number of visitors, and it continued to see improved conversion rates. Click & Collect and Order in Store also proved more popular with its customers.

Wholesale revenues also rose 20.3%, or up 17.6% currency neutral, mostly on its core UK and Ireland-based accounts, although international markets, especially the US, Germany, France and other European countries, are growing, it said.

Sales internationally increased 36.2% last year and now make up 11.5% of total group revenue.

Joules also said it sees significant physical store growth potential for the brand in the UK and Ireland, targeting 10-12 net new stores a year in the medium term, as well as relocating a number of existing stores to larger sites.

An upbeat CEO Colin Porter said Joules’s success was down to a “steadfast focus on its growing and loyal customer base” as active customer numbers rose 14% to 907,000, as well as “product quality and delivering engaging experiences across all channels.”

He predicted that momentum will continue into FY18 “despite the uncertain macroeconomic outlook,” partly due to new store openings plus “a robust autumn/winter wholesale order book both in the UK and internationally, and positive early feedback on our spring/summer 2018 ranges from wholesale customers.”

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