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FatFace credits digital investment and retail partnerships for positive first half and Christmas trading

Fat Face has  Image: Wozzie/

FatFace has posted strong growth thanks to strong online sales and partnerships with other fashion retailers, according to its latest trading update. 

The fashion retailer says investment in digital transformation and the launch of new partnerships with Marks & Spencer – where it sells online – and Next – for its baby range – all helped it to grow sales by 58% to £125m in the six months to November 27, compared to the same time last year, a period affected by the November 2020 lockdown of non-essential retail. Sales were 4% up on the same time two years ago, in pre-pandemic 2019. Some 7% of sales are now international news, following 143% growth year-on-year. 

Some 38% – or £48m – of sales took place online during the period. That’s up from 25% two years earlier. Ecommerce sales grew by 62% on 2019. Meanwhile store sales of £77m were 81% up on last time, but 8% behind two years ago.

In the five weeks to January 1, sales were 22% ahead of the same period last year, and 3% up on the same time in 2019. International sales grew at the same time, rising 24% on last year, and 48% on two years ago, as the retailer gained new customers in the US, while digital sales grew “ahead of expectations”.

Will Crumbie, chief executive of FatFace, said he was delighted with the figures. “Looking back at our performance in the first half of the financial year, our focus on digital transformation supported by a highly productive store estate drove positive growth across the business with profitability returning to more normalised levels. Internationally, our US business continued to grow strongly and gives us a great platform for future growth.

“As we look ahead, we will continue to execute our digital first strategy. We are on track and momentum is with us – we have a fantastic brand, a strong ESG agenda, and product ranges for the whole family to live life in.”

The retailer says it held out against discounting in the peak trading period, and that a strong focus on supply chain management and customer service “helped mitigate the wider challenges impacting the sector”. 


FatFace says all of its cotton is now from sustainable sources, and that it has achieved carbon neutrality for emissions types one and two. That puts it well on track for its 2025 targets. FatFace has also launched FatFace PreLoved in partnership with Thrift+.

FatFace was founded in 1988 by Jules Leaver and Tim Slade, who started the business on the ski slopes of Meribel before expanding in the UK and beyond. It now sells online and through 180 shops in the UK and 20 in the US. FatFace is a Top100 retailer in RXUK Top500 research.

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