A deal with reality TV star Kourtney Kardashian and a boom in plus-size clothing helped Boohoo defy the gloomy high street fashion market, as its upped its sales guidance today for the third time this year after revenues doubled.
The online retailer, which caters to fashionable but cost-conscious millennials, said it now expects revenue growth of 90pc in the financial year after sales grew 100pc to £228m in the four months to 31 December.
Its strong performance contrasts with that of many high street fashion retailers, as House of Fraser reported a 2.9pc dip in in-store sales and Marks & Spencer revealed a 2.8pc drop in non-food revenues today.
Neil Catto, chief financial officer, said the “fantastic” results were supported by rising sales of “going out-wear”, as well as Boohoo’s plus-size, tall and petite ranges, while its PrettyLittleThing (PLT) subsidiary was boosted by marketing deals with celebrities. Ms Kardashian launched a 40-piece collection of coats, dresses and jumpsuits with the retailer in October.
Boohoo has also bolstered its growth with acquisitions. It bought a majority stake in PLT, which is run by Boohoo co-founder Mahmud Kamani’s son Umar, for £3.3m in 2016 and last year took over US fashion site Nasty Gal as it was entering administration.
Mr Catto said while he could see more takeovers in the medium-term, Boohoo wasn’t looking to buy any more firms imminently.
Gross margins slipped slightly from 53.1pc to 52.5pc as Boohoo cut prices to make the most of Black Friday.
Mr Catto said: “Some of our competitors were offering huge discounts, 50pc off everything, and we gave competitive discounts. Outside of that period we didn’t have to give as much away in terms of promotions.”
Research firm Globaldata’s Charlotte Pearce said: “While its relentless discounting activity needs attention, boohoo.com’s product and brand presence is clearly winning over 16-24 year old shoppers, ensuring it will continue to outperform in 2018, luring away dissatisfied shoppers from the likes of New Look, Miss Selfridge and H&M.”
Mr Kamani and Carol Kane, joint chief executives, said: “Boohoo has continued to perform well, delivering strong revenue growth on increasingly challenging comparatives last year. PrettyLittleThing has continued to deliver exceptional results and Nasty Gal is making excellent progress in its first year.”