Quiz began life as a Glasgow-based clothing manufacturer – now its has almost 300 stores across the world.
The fast fashion retailer is growing quickly and opened 50 new outlets last year.
Despite the rapid expansion, financials are moving in the right direction. Pre-tax profit grew by 17% to £5.7m in its year to March 31, 2016 as sales jumped 11.8% to £87.4m.
The retailer has remained relatively under-the-radar, partly due to its sparse presence in London and the South.
But all that’s about to change.
The retailer is planning around 10 new standalone stores a year, with a focus on upping its presence in the south-east and further afield.
Its first company-owned international store is due to open this summer in Madrid and founder Tarak Ramzan has also set his sights on the money-spinning US market.
Of course, it wasn’t always this way. Quiz has its roots in manufacturing.
“Quiz is aiming to zero-in on multichannel by introducing digital kiosks in store to showcase every item of stock the retailer carries”
When Ramzan’s father Mohammed emigrated from Pakistan in the 1940s he did as many immigrants to the UK have done and established his own business (one in every seven UK companies is created by a migrant, according to the Centre for Entrepreneurs) manufacturing tartan and duffel coats.
When Ramzan was just 18 he took over the business and it wasn’t long before he decided to make changes. Recognising that retailers were increasingly moving overseas to manufacture goods, Ramzan decided to set up shop himself and Quiz was born in 1994 with a store on Glasgow’s Victoria Road.
It has since expanded, with most stores focused around Scotland and northern England.
However, Ramzan has not stopped there. Quiz now has a healthy franchise business in the Middle East and North Africa and Singapore.
While the business is “always looking” for department store opportunities, business development manager – and Tarak’s son – Sheraz Ramzan says that the focus of UK expansion is around standalone stores.
“Ramzan points to its occasionwear as a key differentiator and adds that its customers are across three generations”
As well as adding to its south-eastern estate, Quiz is redeveloping its flagship store in Westfield Stratford City. It is aiming to zero-in on multichannel by introducing digital kiosks in store to showcase every item of stock the retailer carries.
A new app and own-language websites in Spain and Germany will follow as will country-specific sites for Australia and the US.
In the US, the retailer is taking a closer look at department stores and is, according to Ramzan in “early-stage discussions” with players in that market.
It’s easy to lump Quiz in with its etail competitors like Missguided and Boohoo: it has the same fast fashion ethos and value is central to its proposition.
But Ramzan points to its occasionwear as a key differentiator and adds that its customers are across three generations, thanks to those lines.
Quiz isn’t one to forget its roots – something that allows it to keep up with the etailers. An astonishing 40% of its clothing is manufactured in Britain on two to four week lead times. Ramzan’s father would be proud.
Quiz at a glance
Sales (2015/16): £87.4m (up 11.7%)
Pre-tax profit: £5.7m (up 17%)
Number of outlets: 270
Number of employees: 1,400