SuperGroup has posted a “record trading period” online over the Christmas period as the retailer continues to invest in developing its online offer.
SuperGroup boss Euan Sutherland said the success was down to consumer trust in its delivery proposition. He said the fashion retailer was so confident of being able to manage demand, that it was taking orders for next-day delivery until 10pm on December 23 for delivery on Christmas Eve.
Despite promotions before Christmas, the business posted strong like-for-like sales growth over the quarter ended 10 January, with sales increasing 12.4%. Total sales increased 17.8% over the period.
Sutherland aims to build on its online success, He said it “is something to build on and improve for next Christmas because we see that the online shift is going to continue”.
Sutherland said that SuperGroup is continuing to build its ecommerce capacity, with further investment planned into distribution and the IT system.
“We’re building capacity because we’re expanding across the globe. We are launching different language sites, we are increasing the number of those, so as we take more and more sales online as a proportion of total sales, it’s about making sure we have the distribution capability behind that.”
The retailer now offers click-and-collect, as well iKiosks in its stores, which means its full product offer is available in all of its stores.
Discounting before Christmas
Speaking about why the retailer released its Christmas trading numbers early, he said: “We’ve gone out a little bit earlier than planned, because the like-for-likes were better than where the City had us.”
Sutherland said the retailer, which has traditionally focussed on full priced trading, ran a series of “targeted promotions” on knitwear and outerwear ahead of Christmas.
“We had a bit of a stock overhang, particularly on jackets, knitwear and outerwear, and we decided at that point that we would need to reduce our stock levels, and we knew that at the first half. We indicated to the market that we would probably do more on those areas. It was a very small proportion of our total stores. We’re in a much better stock position right now.
“We had bought heavy because we had under-bought the previous Christmas, and the whole market was hit by two months of unseasonably warm weather so it was a combination of both of those things that meant we were a bit heavier on stock than we would have liked to have been. We’re feeling a lot better about stock as we’re coming out of Christmas and into the new season.”