Analysis: How Boohoo has played to its strengths during coronavirus crisis

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With the UK under lockdown and non-essential bricks-and-mortar stores closed, the coronavirus pandemic has been bruising for many fashion retailers. However, Boohoo bosses believe the challenging conditions have demonstrated the inherent strengths of their business, from an agile supply chain to social media resonance.

By virtue of its online-only model, Boohoo – which comprises the eponymous brand and its male counterpart Boohooman, PrettyLittleThing, Nasty Gal and more recently Miss Pap, Karen Millen and Coast – is well placed to take advantage of a channel shift in shopping habits accelerated by lockdowns.

“There’s obviously an opportunity to take advantage of the fact that customers can only shop online,” says Boohoo chief financial officer Neil Catto. “We have seen customer acquisition [grow] quite strongly during the lockdown period and we will try to engage with these customers as much as we can.”

Like competitor Asos, Boohoo, which released its results today, reported a pattern of demand since the outbreak that began with an initial drop followed by a period of improvement. The retailer has reported year-on-year group sales growth in April.

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