Bonmarché and Ted Baker both today unveiled fast online growth that has helped boost overall sales.
Value fashion retailer Bonmarché reported a 36% rise in online sales in its latest financial year – including first half growth of 50.6% – that it put down to improvements to its multichannel service. Some 7.4% of sales now take place online.
Overall, revenue of £178.6m in the year to March 28 was 8.7% up on the same time in the previous year. Like-for-like sales grew by 4%, or 6% including online, and pre-tax profits of £12.4m were 55.3% up on last time.
Bonmarché, an IRUK150 company, is close to launching a responsive website – currently scheduled for July – in response to “striking changes” in the way customers now use mobile devices, particularly tablets, to carry out research on its website. Some 38% of all website traffic and 32% of online sales – 75% more than at the same time last year – now come from tablets, while at the same time sales from desktop or laptop computers have fallen by 20%. Smartphones account for 6% of all online sales.
The company is working with website provider Venda on the responsive website and said today that once its responsive website was complete it would work with Attraqt to improve its merchandise recommendations and search and navigation functionality. The company has also widened its delivery choices as well as introducing track and trace.
During the year Bonmarché also launched an Ann Harvey collection both online and in 23 stores.
Beth Butterwick, chief executive of Bonmarché, said she was satisfied by its performance in a year that opened well with good weather, but whose second half was “more challenging”.
“Against this backdrop we have continued to deliver improvements across the business and have achieved solid profit growth,” she said. “The group’s financial position is sound and we enter the new financial year with a strong balance sheet and confidence in our ongoing growth strategy.”
Meanwhile, Ted Baker, an IRUK100 company, said in an interim management statement, that its online sales grew by 46.9% in the 18 weeks to June 6, compared to the same time last year. This, it said, reflected UK growth as well as a good performance from its US site and an “encouraging contribution” from its new Canadian site. Strong rises in revenue have been seen since the company launched its new hybris ecommerce plaform. Overall, group revenue rose by 24.2% in the period, with retail sales up by 18.9% and wholesale up by 41.2%.
Both Bonmarché and Ted Baker are listed in Internet Retailing’s IRUK500 ranking of ecommerce and multichannel retailers trading in the UK.