More than half of Seasalt sales now take place over the internet, following a shift online that started during Covid-19 lockdowns and has continued since then.
Seasalt says its online sales grew well beyond expectations in its latest financial year and into its current year – even as its in-store sales fell during Covid-19 lockdowns.
The fashion retailer says ecommerce sales grew by 72% in the year to January 30 2021, when 67% of its sales were online. But in-store sales fell by 57% at the same time, as a result of Covid-19 related temporary store closures in both 2020 and early 2021. Total sales for the year came in at £69.9m, down 7% on the previous year. But its profits increased at the same time, with earnings before interest, tax and one-off costs growing by 50% to £6.6m.
Looking ahead, the retailer says that total sales in the year to January 29 2022 will approach £100m, with 56% of sales taking place online. Since stores were able to reopen, it says, stores have recovered faster than expected and are still trading ahead of expectation. In the current year it has also worked with third-party partners including Next, Zalando and Amazon. It started to sell online with M&S in April 2021 and in its stores from June.
Over the last 18 months Seasalt has invested more than £2.5m in new technology, including new and International websites and ship-from-store software. It says this has helped it to gain record numbers of new customers during the current financial year.
Paul Hayes, chief executive of Seasalt, says: “Our outstanding results in the face of extremely difficult circumstances reflect the hard work of our teams across the business and the support of the wider Seasalt community.
“We have seen the benefits of our digital transformation and can now genuinely call ourselves a digital-first brand. The excellent performance of our stores since they re-opened and growth with our strategic partners point to a bright future and demonstrate the resilience of the business.
“As we move towards Christmas, it is an exciting time for Seasalt as we continue to experience record levels of engagement with our customers and look forward to building further momentum through the rest of the year.”
Seasalt, ranked Top150 in RXUK Top500 research, was founded in 1981, when Don Chadwick opened his first store in Penzance, Cornwall. Today it has 69 UK stores and sells online in 156 countries as well as through strategic brand partnerships. It is still owned by the Chadwick family.