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Supergroup now makes 8% of its sales online

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Fashion retailer Supergroup today said ecommerce now accounted for 8% of its total sales, up from 4% a year ago. The company, announcing its full-year results, said online revenues had trebled during a year that saw it launch websites in France, Belgium and Germany.

Supergroup, which owns the Superdry and Cult brands, now delivers online purchases to 85 countries across the world. Internet sales, said the company in its financial statement, build on growing awareness of its brands outside the UK, “allowing us to create a market opportunity ahead of physical store openings.” By contrast, its wholesale division, it said, now sells to 40 countries.

Improvements to the ecommerce service have included a redesign of the ecommerce platform, and consolidation of the online fulfillment operation into the UK distribution centre which resulted in faster delivery times and improved service. Supergroup now boasts 300,000 online customers.

During the year to May 1, pre-tax profits grew by 110% to £47.3m, from £22.5m at the same time last year, on total group revenues up 71% at £237.9m, from £139.4m last time.

Highlights included plans to open a flagship four-floor store in central London’s Regent Street, to act as an "international showcase" for the brand. Some 21 new standalone stores opened in the UK during the year, taking the total to 60, and 44 franchised and licensed stores internationally. In the current year the company plans to open at least 50 further franchised stores, with a focus on Europe.

Chief executive Julian Dunkerton said the group had delivered strong results in a “challenging retail environment," adding, “We remain confident in our strategy and in the ongoing potential for the Superdry brand, both at home and internationally.”

Meanwhile, Marks & Spencer said its online sales grew by 13% in the first quarter of its year, to July 2, and that customers were responding well to the convenience of its Shop Your Way online service. Group sales rose by 3.2%, and like-for-like UK sales by 1.7%. M&S chief executive Marc Bolland said: "Marks & Spencer continued to grow market share in both clothing and food by offering our customers more choice, great value for money and leading innovation."

And chocolate retailer Thorntons said its internet revenues were up by 10.7% to £0.8m in the eight weeks to June 25, with growth in its online consumer sales. It said that total sales for the year to June 25 were up by 1.7% to £218.3m, but sales for those eight weeks had fallen by £1.9m to £20.6m. The company said it was considering writing down £3.5m in its full-year results to cover the costs of closing underperforming stores now designated for closure. Chief executive Jonathan Hart said trading had continued to be challenging, but that it was encouraged by forward orders for Christmas.

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