Quiz today set out its plans for omnichannel and international expansion, including up to 50 new UK stores, as it reported full-year revenues 30% ahead of last year – and online 158% ahead.
The occasion wear and dressy casual wear retailer aims to become a global fast-fashion brand.
Chief executive and founder Tarak Ramzan said Quiz had seen “excellent progress achieved from our omnichannel growth strategy”. He added: "The brand has continued to deliver rapid growth online, with revenues up 158% year-on-year, as well as strong growth in international target markets and across our UK store and concession estate.”
He said the brand was making a name for value and quality and added: “With our attractive customer offer, well-invested infrastructure and omnichannel business model with the flexibility to increase investment in higher return areas, Quiz is well positioned to deliver strong growth in the year ahead in-line with the board’s expectations.”
The update came as Quiz, a Top150 retailer in IRUK Top500 research, reported group revenue of £116.4m in the year to March 31. That’s 30% up on the same time last year. Online sales grew by 150% to £30.6m from £11.9m last time, while international sales rose by 32% to £21.2m. UK stores and concessions contributed revenue of £64.6m, 12% ahead of the same time last year.
Chairman Peter Cowgill said: “The group’s flexible omnichannel model allows management to focus on the areas where Quiz can generate the highest growth. The group will continue to increase its investment in areas generating strong returns, most notably across its online platforms.”
Quiz sells online and through 71 standalone stores and 147 concessions in the UK, and more than 300 outlets, from stores to concessions and franchises, in 20 overseas markets.
Here’s what Quiz said about its multichannel strategy in today’s results statement.
More than a quarter (26%) of Quiz’ revenue came via ecommerce during the full-year – almost double the 13.2% of sales that were online a year ago – as its active online customer base grew by 87% to 370,000. Quiz sees potential to grow that share to at least 35% of sales in the medium term through a strategy that includes improved mobile apps – Quiz launched new Android and iOS apps that improved social integration in the second half of the year. It plans to continue developing website functionality and content, improve customer service, and expanding through more online partnerships with third parties. Currently it sells via the Next and Zalando websites. It’s taking more product ranges online; it recently launched Curve, Bridal and Quizman ranges.
Quiz opened five UK stores and six concessions during the year and says that its retail presence is a “key part of our omnichannel model”. It predicts “significant” further growth potential through targeted stores and concessions: it expects to add up to 50 new stores to its existing 71 stores around the UK in the medium to long-term. “Each new standalone store must meet a strict internal return-on-investment criteria and Quiz carefully selects sites on that basis,” it said. Payback for stores is targeted in two years, while flexible five year leases mean reduced exposure to upward rent reviews; payback for concessions is within a year. Among the new stores will be some “slightly bigger” ones of between 2,500 sq ft to 3,500 sq ft where a broader range of products can be displayed.
The retailer is bringing digital into the store, with iPads in all its stores and digital kiosks in selected stores in order to give in-store customers access to the full range. Its new flagship Bluewater store has digital screens in the shop windows to showcase the latest looks, while customers can use digital kiosks. Shoppers can order from the full range for next-day collection.
During the year, Quiz moved into both European markets and US markets for the first time. It launched a local language Spanish site and three Spanish stores, as well as an international online partnership with Zalando. In the US it opened a dedicated US website alongside department store concessions. During the year 18% of Quiz sales came from international and the retailer plans to expand its international footprint, currently in 78 sites in 20 countries, through an omnichannel approach that also includes online, stores, franchise and wholesale.
Quiz invested £0.8m to extend its distribution centre, opened in 2016, by 40%, to 232,000 sq ft to ensure that it can meet the needs of its online business. It is increasing its packing station numbers by 24 to 78.
Quiz says it is able to give its customers fashion reflecting the latest trends because of a test and repeat supply chain that introduces new products quickly and then reorders the lines that have been successful in order to meet customer demand. It describes this as a “true fast-fashion DNA” that runs across its business, and says: This is a real competitive advantage in an age where customers want to be able to buy the styles they want as new fashion trends emerge.|
Marketing, says Quiz, is targeted and focuses on returns. Methods used include collaborations with celebrities and social influencers such as members of the Towie (The only way is Essex) cast, search engine optimisation, pay per click, social media, digital and offline advertising as well as PR. Last year it spent £2.5m on marketing, a 139% increase from the previous year; results were shown in a 100% increase in its Instagram audience and a 43% growth in its Facebook audience.
International marketing to support the launch of Quiz in Spain included a digital marketing and influencer outreach campaign.