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Superdry sees strong in-store recovery and record Black Friday week online – but posts half-year loss and cuts full-year profit forecast as wholesale weakens

Image courtesy of Superdry

Superdry has seen shoppers return in-store in the first half of its financial year, while it also had record Black Friday week. But wholesale partners held back on ordering amid economic uncertainty and while sales grew the fashion brand reports a pre-tax loss for the first half of its financial year. 

The retailer says it now expects that wholesale partners will buy with renewed confidence as they see the success of autumn/winter range via direct-to-consumer sales. 

Full-year figures

The update came as Superdry today reported group revenue of £287.2m in the 26 weeks to October 29 2023. That’s 3.6% up on the same time a year earlier. Retail sales were 9.5% up on last year at £181m, but wholesale was down by 5.2%. Within that, store revenues rose by 14.3% to £117.7m, and ecommerce revenues were 1.6% ahead at £63.3m. Some 34.9% (-2.7% from 37.7%) of retail sales and 22% (-0.4% to 22.4%) of group revenue, were online in the first half of the year. During the half, Superdry completed its shift to be a Zalando partner rather than supplying it wholesale which shifted those revenues to online. Wholesale also fell as partners held back on ordering during economic uncertainty. 

At the bottom line, it reported a pre-tax loss of £17.7m – down from a pre-tax profit of £4m last time and following a shift away from Covid-19 levels of support. 

Superdry is now lowering its expectations in an uncertain trading environment and expects to break even in the full financial year. Its previous expectation was of between £10m and £20m. 

Christmas trading

Over the Christmas trading period, the nine weeks to December 31, group revenue grew by 4.5% on the same time last year, with retail sales 24.9% ahead. Within that, store revenues were up by 18.8% and online was 33.4% ahead of last year, with a record Black Friday week online. But wholesale sales were down by 57.4% on the previous year. 

Superdry founder and chief executive Julian Dunkerton says: “The Superdry brand has real momentum and I’m delighted by how our retail trading continues to strengthen. We’ve done this against a difficult macroeconomic backdrop by delivering well-designed, affordable, and responsibly sourced products which have resonated well with customers. Our coats performed really well in the run up to Christmas, and womenswear continues to be a highlight for us. Stores continued to recover strongly and online had its biggest ever week over Black Friday, helped by our new ecommerce platform which is delivering real benefits.

“We continued to receive positive recognition for our efforts to make Superdry the ‘#1 Sustainable Style Destination’, and this year CDP awarded us an A rating, one of only two British fashion brands on this year’s ‘A List’.

“Despite the underlying brand recovery, our profits in the first half fell short of expectations mainly due to the underperformance of wholesale. We reorganised our team and our approach to support our wholesale partners and expect to see their confidence return following the retail success of AW22. Whilst we did trade well through November and December, the outlook for the remainder of the year is uncertain and as a result, we are moderating our profit outlook to broadly break even. We don’t expect market conditions to become easier any time soon, but with a new financing package in place and the brand in great health, we approach the year ahead with optimism.”

Social expansion

The retailer has expanded its social media channels in order to reach new customers. Its TikTok channel, launched in September 2021, now has more than 550k followers with more than 4.1m likes for videos, which are exclusively generated by influencers. More than 60% of its social budget is focused on generating content from 2,670 influencers – and more than 60 influencer videos featuring the brand now have more than 1m views. 

The retail brand says its party dresses have worked particularly well in viral videos, driving up sales by 31% in the category and helping it to win both new and lapsed customers.


Superdry’s previously stated ambition is to be the most sustainable listed fashion brand. That, it says, starts with its products – where it is aiming to move its pure cotton clothing to organic by 2025, and is helping support more than 7,500 organic cotton farmers – but continues through introducing renewable energy to its stores, offices and distribution centres. That stands at 91% coverage, with an ambition to reach 100% by 2025. Some 52% of sales in the first half of the year were sustainably sourced products, up from 32% a year earlier. Its Carbon Disclosure Project rating now stands at an A – where it says it is one of two British fashion brands to feature. 

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