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Boohoo faces shareholder revolt as advisory firms oppose exec bonuses


Boohoo is to face a shareholder rebellion at its annual general meeting (AGM) as advisory firms opposed its executive bonuses.

As a result, the Institutional Shareholder Services (ISS) urged investors to withstand the pay report last week after fast fashion retailer’s remuneration committee increased bonuses for the year ended February 2023.

This comes as Boohoo CEO John Lyttle was handed a £650,000 bonus despite the group reporting a £90 million loss.

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Lyttle, who has been CEO of the fast fashion retailer since 2019, took home £1.39 million in the year to February. The sum was made up of his £651,000 salary and a bonus also worth around £651,000.

Another advisory firm, Glass Lewis, also voiced its concerns over new chief financial officer Shaun McCabe having a base salary, which has been described as “significantly higher”, than his predecessor.

“There is no compelling rationale for this adjustment, taking into account overall performance,” ISS said.

The news comes as Boohoo plummeted to a pre-tax loss as shoppers returned to physical stores post-pandemic.

In the year ended 28 February 2023, the online retailer posted a loss of £90 million compared to a pre-tax profit of £7.8 million in the same period the previous year.

Revenues dipped by 11% in the period from £1.98 billion to £1.77 billion, however, this figure is still ahead of the £1.23 billion the fashion retailer reported in 2020.

Boohoo features in RetailX 2023 Europe Fashion report.

CASE STUDY: Welcome to the ‘Boohooverse’

UK fashion brand boohoo has been one of the first fashion companies to leverage the putative power of the metaverse, launching the Boohooverse in late 2022. The Web3 platform has the admirable ambition of not only showcasing metaverse as a platform for fashion, but also to empower women in the digital space.

Specifically, Boohoo says it is “dedicated to onboarding the female fashion community into Web3 and future fashion projects in the metaverse”.

Boohoo initially entered the metaverse by launching its free Boohooverse Access Pass, the first in a series of NFTs created in collaboration with female artists and GMGN Labs. The card, which was designed by artist Amy Kilner, was claimed within 2.5 hours and drove huge spikes in website traffic, causing the website to crash.

Signing up to the ‘Boohooverse’, however, bagged users more than just a cool avatar and outfits. The fashion company wants to add value to purchases for its customers, making the metaverse more appealing and better value for ordinary people.

Its most recent avatar collection, launched in May 2022, came with a series of utilities for all users, including access to future metaverse projects, access to a gated discord community and access to Boohooverse events.

Boohoo also gave away prizes to randomly selected avatar holders, including the chance to win a £1,000 travel voucher, three lots of £500 in cash and a range of vouchers and discounts.

Sam Helligso, head of brand at Boohoo, explains the strategy: “We’re so excited to be able to champion female representation in the Metaverse.

“Our aim is to allow our customers to enter the NFT space effortlessly and affordably, while educating and supporting her throughout our voyage into the space.”

Read more of the case study in the 2023 RetailX Europe Fashion report.

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