Beauty specialist Space NK has pulled itself out of the red with pre-tax profits in the year to April 30 of £270,000, against a pre-tax loss of £1.4m the previous year.
In the year, the retailer - backed by private equity firm Manzanita Capital - reported total sales up 6.3% to £46.8m. Like-for-like sales were up 3.3% in the year, and the retailer has reported “strong” like-for-likes since year end.
Chief marketing officer Lauri Vela said the retailer’s turnaround is a combination of general economic recovery, new product development and a shake-up of its marketing.
She said: “We have very loyal customers but they perhaps didn’t pop in as much as they used to the previous year. Our customers are feeling cautiously optimistic now and we’ve seen some confidence come back to the market.”
Vela explained the retailer had developed an entry-price range of “everyday essentials” at the end of last year. The range, called Life NK, features a labelling system showing which controversial ingredients - such as parabens and sulphates - have been removed.
This month this range has been extended into a travel essentials kit, at £25.
“The range enabled new customers to come and try us and has gone down really well,” said Vela. She added that Space NK, which has 61 UK shops, will also be launching a loyalty scheme in September.
The retailer has also invested more in marketing, with “stronger windows”, print and digital advertising and the launch of what it calls a ‘magalogue’- a magazine-style catalogue that is both online and is posted out to customers.
She added that the retailer’s backers, Manzanita Capital, “have no interest in selling the business and remain committed for the long term”.
“We’ve started the current year with strong like-for-likes and are confident of growth,” said Vela. “What sets us apart from the competition is the newness in our ranges, and we have lots of developments to keep our customers happy.”
Space NK was founded by entrepreneur Nicky Kinnaird, who remains involved, particularly with product development.