Analysis: Can Boohoo make Karen Millen a Nasty Gal-style success?

Karen Millen Covent Garden store

Boohoo has unveiled skyrocketing sales and profits at the half-year mark, aided by some of its more recent acquisitions.

The online fashion powerhouse posted an 83% surge in pre-tax profit to £45.2m during the six months to August 31 spurred by a 43% leap in group sales to £564.9m.

This performance was driven by usual group stalwart brands such as the eponymous Boohoo and Boohooman, but also by the more recent acquisitions PrettyLittleThing and Nasty Gal, the latter of which delivered an eyewatering 148% increase in revenue to £43.9 million and saw its number of active customers spike 112%.

Group co-founder and executive director Carol Kane attributes the success of Nasty Gal to Boohoo’s strategy of rapidly increasing its SKU count from 400 at the time of acquisition in 2017 to “thousands today”, as well as through heavily marketing the brand in the US and UK through pop-up stores and influencer tie-ups, such as the recent collaboration on a capsule collection with supermodel Emilia Ratajkowski.

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