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Quiz puts online and offline sales growth down to focus on customers – and testing

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A customer-led strategy helped Quiz grew sales across all channels, with online revenues up by 44%, in its latest half-year, says its founder. 

Tarak Ramzan, founder and chief executive of Quiz said: “Quiz has a clear customer focus, a proven ‘test and repeat’ model and a dedicated management team. With these strengths, and despite a challenging market environment, the board believes the group is well positioned to deliver long-term profitable growth.”

Quiz, which sells occasion wear and dressy casual clothes, is a Top150 retailer in IRUK Top500 research.

Fast online growth at home and abroad

The retailer said that online sales hit £20m in the half year, accounting for about 30% of group sales. Sales via its own website grew even more strongly and were up by 70%, while traffic was 58% up on last time, and conversion rates were 8% ahead. During the half year its active customer base grew by 89% to reach 495,000 as the retailer expanded, launching men’s fashion range Quizman. 

The retailer said that its Android and iOS apps, launched in its last financial year, were performing well, improving the user experience on mobile, and and helping to improve integration between its products, social media and advertising campaigns.

A new CRM system will allow it to provide a more personalised customer experience by collecting better information both in-store and online. It is due to launch ‘buy now, pay later’ options and an annual delivery pass before the end of the financial year. 

In its 2018 full-year, Quiz sales via third-party sales including Next and Zalando showed “exceptional growth” but in the first half of the year sales were below initial expectations, as flagged up in October. Today it said: “We continue to receive positive feedback with regards to our product and our performance on these websites relative to others and we are working with our third-party partners to stabilise and grow sales.”

Buoyant summer footfall in-store

Sales via its stores grew by 9% to £35.1m as footfall to stores grew over the summer and as the retailer opened a further two stores – in Bluewater and Oxford – and 13 concessions, taking it to a total of 70 stores and 169 concessions by the end of the half-year. Since then it has opened a store in Liverpool and nine new concessions, mostly in Outfit stores. However, September was a challenging month both for it and the fashion market more generally. 

The update came as Quiz reported group revenue of £66.7m in the six months to September 30  was 19% up on the same time last year. Pre-tax profits of £3.8m were 4% up on the £3.7m reported at the same time last year, after writing off £0.4m in relation to House of Fraser’s administration. 

In the eight weeks since the end of the half-year, to November 24 (Cyber Saturday), sales were up by 10%, year-on-year, including 62% growth through its own websites.

Ramzan said: “Quiz has continued to deliver good revenue growth in the first half of the financial year despite challenging external market conditions. This performance was driven by further expansion across each of the brand’s distribution channels with particularly strong sales generated online through Quiz’s websites. 

“The Quiz brand continues to grow and we have seen good sales momentum in our core collections as well as cross extended ranges including QuizCurve, Occasion and our newest range, Quizman.”

Commenting, Emily Salter, retail analyst at data and analytics company GlobalData, said: ‘‘QUIZ has suffered at the hands of third-party retailers, where sales via this channel generate lower margins in comparison to its own website.

“Alongside this, many of Quiz’s partner retailers are struggling such as Debenhams, Dorothy Perkins and House of Fraser. House of Fraser’s recent plight will have significantly hampered Quiz’s sales with its website being offline for around five weeks, and in addition it was owed £0.4m by the previous owners which can’t be recovered. 

“Quiz also sells through Next’s increasingly successful online platform, however the retailer’s strategy to bolster the number of brands on offer will have considerably increased the competition Quiz faces. The retailer must therefore continue to grow the proportion of sales made through its own website, potentially by offering exclusive collections, particularly given the success of its Quiz X Towie ranges, heightened by the launch of its first national TV advertising campaign.

“Despite strong online growth, the retailer should not shift focus away from its stores, as the opportunity for customers to try on products is something that many of its online pureplay competitors, such as and PrettyLittleThing, cannot offer.’’


Of its total online sales, £1.5m came via international websites. At the same time, international sales from stores in the Republic of Ireland – where it now has seven stores and 23 concessions – Spain and through franchise grew by 16% to reach £11.6m. Quiz is now selling through a US department store and said that it was “optimistic about Quiz’s long-term potential in the US.”


Quiz spent 74% more on marketing during the half-year, at £1.7m. This, it said, represents 2.6% of total revenue and supported improved engagement via social media, with Instagram audiences up by 62% and Facebook audiences up by 31%.


Quiz expanded space available at its distribution centre by 40,000 sq ft to 232,000 sq ft and has also added in a new mezzanine that will provide another 40,000 sq ft once floored.

Image courtesy of Quiz

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