Footasylum says it aims to invest in its multichannel performance after floating on the London Stock Exchange.
The footwear specialist, a Top50 retailer in IRUK Top500 research
, currently sells to its target market of 16 to 24-year-old fashion conscious customers through 60 UK stores and online via footasylum.com. Online currently accounts for 29% of overall sales, and stores for 71%, but today it said it expects online sales will continue to account for an increasing proportion of overall sales. At the same time it plans to expand its store estate to at least 150, with between eight and 10 new openings a year, in the medium-term, and recently launched a wholesale arm.
It sells around 300 brands, including five core own-brands, including Alessandro Zavetti and Kings Will Dream, and operates a dedicated website for its Kings Will Dream, with one due to launch for Glorious Gangsta.
Footasylum said in today's announcement: "The company's online channels showcase the widest product range, including online exclusives and promotions and allow the Company to test new products and brands ahead of rolling them out across its store estate. Typically, however, online sales are more footwear oriented than store sales, and as a result have a higher average order value but lower gross margins. In FY17, footwear represented 71 per cent. of online sales.
"The directors believe that the Company's growing online presence has been an important contributing factor in strengthening the Company's relationships with its major brand partners, and who the Directors believe increasingly recognise Footasylum as an effective communicator with 16 to 24 year olds."
Clare Nesbitt, chief executive of Footasylum, said: "We are thrilled to be announcing our intention to list on AIM. This is a logical next step in Footasylum's upward trajectory as we seek to build on our exciting product-led, multi-channel expansion strategy.
"We pride ourselves on being a dynamic, adaptive and fast-moving business with a strong competitive position, a great stable of third party and own brands, and a disciplined approach to delivering sustainable growth. We see substantial opportunities ahead across our retail, online and wholesales channels, and believe that we have the people, products and strategy to realise them."
Footasylum was founded in 2005 by David Makin, a co-founder of JD Sports, who was later joined by his fellow co-founder John Wardle, now executive chairman. He is set to retire next June and will be replaced by Barry Bown, also previously at JD Sports, where he was chief executive between 2000 and 2014.