Cornish fashion brand Seasalt hailed record in-store trading over Christmas but warned online sales would continue to be challenging in 2023 due to macroeconomic conditions.

Exterior of Seasalt Cardiff store

Seasalt’s store revenues were up 24% year on year

In a trading update for the five weeks to December 31, Seasalt reported a 15% increase in total sales across stores, online and marketplaces year on year. 

Overall store revenues were up 24% compared with the same period the previous year, rounding off a record year for Seasalt stores, with like-for-like sales up 12% on 2019 pre-pandemic levels. 

Digital sales were down 2% year on year, albeit against a record year. However, the retailer said online trading became “increasingly challenging in the last six months and the online channel has been significantly more impacted by the cost-of-living crisis than physical stores”.

The retailer added: “Although it is reassuring to see sustained growth in this channel year on year, on a full-year basis, Seasalt expects online sales will continue to be affected by wider economic uncertainty through 2023.”

Despite this, Seasalt said sales through its marketplace partners, such as M&S, Next and Zalando “have gone from strength to strength”, with sales up 57% for the period – another record. 

Having focused predominantly on womenswear, Seasalt said it plans to “significantly” expand its range in 2023 to “provide further opportunities for growth”. 

Chief financial officer Malcolm Macdonald said: “Our strong store performance over Christmas is a continuation of the success we have enjoyed all year.

“We have always believed that success in retail requires a balance between the store and online channels, and the ability to provide a great customer experience in both. Our recent sales performance indicates that this is still a priority for our customers.

“Although we have traded very well during the last 12 months, we expect the next six months to be tough. We will continue to invest in our planned digital transformation and in expanding our international presence, but will otherwise be taking all necessary actions to manage our costs very carefully to ensure we are in the best possible position to accelerate our growth again later in 2023 when consumer confidence improves.”

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