Lifestyle retailer White Stuff has defied the gloom in the tough fashion market to report record full-year profits.
In the year to April 26, profits soared 42 per cent to £13.3m on sales up 34 per cent to £58.4m.
The retailer – which has grown from an operation that started by selling slogan t-shirts from a van in the Alps into a 60-store business to compete with the likes of Boden, Gap and Fat Face – is one of the fastest-growing private companies in Britain.
Home shopping sales during the year rocketed 70 per cent, while profit margins also bucked the downward trend among many retailers, moving up 1.3 per cent during the year.
White Stuff chief executive Sally Bailey is set to open 30 stores over the next three years. The former Miss Selfridge brand director, who spent five years at Topshop working with a team that included Jane Shepherdson, Michael Sharp and Karyn Fenn, has turned the label around from a ski and surf clothes retailer into a lifestyle brand popular with affluent yummy mummies, expanding product as part of the development.
Bailey said: “White Stuff has shown that it’s possible to expand a retail company successfully during a recession. By continuing to develop our product offer and focusing on innovative ways to make our customers happy, White Stuff has bucked the retail trend.”
In July last year, founders George Treves and Sean Thomas scrapped plans for a potential sale of their stake in the business after the credit crunch began to bite. The proposed sale followed a strategic review in January of the same year.
There are no plans to reconsider a sale of the stake in the next two years. The retailer will undergo another strategic review after that time.