Superdry says ecommerce is driving a recovery from the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic, but that store trading continues to be badly affected.
In a pre-close trading statement, it says group revenue in the first half of its 2022 financial year, to October 23, is 2.4% lower than a year earlier. Retail sales are 4.8% lower, with in-store sales 21.7% ahead of last time and online sales 30% lower. Wholesale is 1.2% ahead of last time.
When compared to pre-pandemic 2019, group sales are 25.3% lower, with retail sales 23.2% down. Store sales are 34.5% lower than they were in the same period in 2019, wholesale 28.3% lower, but online sales are 7.6% higher.
The retailer says its strategy of full price sales is increasing profitability, with gross margin increasing across both stores (+5.6 percentage points (pp)) and ecommerce (+9.2pp).
Julian Dunkerton, founder and chief executive of Superdry, says: “Superdry is recovering well from the disruption of the Covid-19 pandemic and I am really pleased with the start to the Autumn/Winter 2021 season, despite the ongoing disruption around the world. Once the new range landed and we began trading against a comparable full price period, we saw an acceleration into positive 2-year Retail like-for-like growth. Our focus on full-price sales continues to deliver improvements in gross margin and I am pleased that we are ending the half with 10% fewer inventory units than last year. We are encouraged by the performance this strategy is starting to deliver, which gives me further confidence in the full year outlook.
“As consumers continue to return to stores, I am really excited about the opening of our new flagship store in Oxford Street on November 10 which will be a big statement about the future of the brand, offering the broadest range of sustainable product in our portfolio. It will showcase the full spectrum of our new ranges and will become a London base for the wholesale showroom and our influencer programme, which is a key pillar of the brand’s digital first strategy.”
Superdry is ranked Top100 in RXUK Top500 research.