Amidst an increasingly chaotic and slow retail atmosphere, there are some unicorn retailers managing to sail across to the shore with smashing success. Recently, some of the major retailers (both brick and mortar and e-commerce) shared their financial reports and Insider Trends created a list of all the retailers showing soaring profits.
The reports can give us direct clues into whose innovation style is resonating well within the market and what others can do to emulate these profits in their business.
Not surprisingly, all the top spots go to online actors with the 10-year-old Missguided taking the baton forward at a manifold 49.4% sales rise last year. The young adult fashion e-tailer is valued at £ 700 million and its real growth is actually coming from Europe where the brand reported 209.2% upshot in profits and a 94.9% growth overseas.
Slightly older than Missguided, the multi-brand luxury e-tailer Farfetch trails right behind its successor with a reported 70 % revenue surge last year to £ 12 million. The retailer is likely to be valued at £ 5 billion in the time to come as it plans an IPO.
Apart from their online gateway, Farfetch operates 400 physical boutiques and uses data collected from there to enhance its virtual experience and vice versa. For a digital-first retailer, Farfetch understands the power of physical immersion and invests in innovative stores like their recent technological advanced ‘Store of the Future’ opening.
Further, Asos, perhaps one of the older e-commerce players, shows no signs of slowing down with its shrewd focus on its target audience and using the power of editorial direction, as it grabs the third spot on the list. The report states that Asos has aced multi-channel retail with revenue pouring from the web, mobile site, app and even social media. The millennial favourite has over 850 brands in its rooster and reported a 27% group revenue rise and around 16% rise in the UK sales.
The fourth spot on the list goes to the 7-year-old lingerie retailer Boux Avenue that announced that their UK sales reached £ 49.4 million or soared 11.2% in 2016-2017. Owned by Theo Paphitis, which used to have a major stake in La Senza, Boux Avenue is a mid-market brand and its focus is on creating engaging experiences and adopting the innovative merchandising strategies like Victoria’s Secret.
Rounding up the top five is Superdry, which clocked in record increase in overseas sales thanks to the post-Brexit value drop of the Brit pound. The retailer even captured a booming athleisure market with the launch of its Superdry Sport brand. The casual apparel and accessories retailer broadcasted its UK and EU revenue growth to £ 319.2 million and £ 332.9 million, respectively.
Primark, the budget high-street fashion retailers and JD Sport, multi-brand sportswear retailer closely follow after Superdry on the list. Similar to Superdry, JD Sports’ evolution is all thanks to the athleisure boom. The retailer has entered several strategic exclusive contracts for selling celebrity sports collaborations in the last couple of years.
Primark’s popularity is obviously credited to its insanely low pricing. The retailer has 174 stores in the UK, of which 80 were opened in 2017 and 10 openings have been announced for 2018. Even sans an online sales model, Primark revenues escalated 12% with operating profits edging at 3%.
The list closes with 2 major luxury fashion players, one e-commerce and one surprising brick and mortar shop. Matchesfashion.com and Harrods. A direct Farfetch rival, Matches offers services like 24×7 concierge and personal styling and shopping advice. Even with 3 physical shops, the retailers say 95% sales come from virtual shoppers.
One of the oldest in the city, Harrods has had a complete renovation under after coming under the ownership of Qatari Holdings. The significant weakening of the UK’s sterling has of course aided this as more and more tourists are shopping away with no care. Recording its 8th big profit year, Harrods closed in sales at £ 2 billion for the first time in history.
Looking at the figures, it is obvious to see that a major chunk of sales are happening online and omni-channel trade is no longer a choice but an imperative requirement for retailers. The retailers must use the knowledge from one portal to parlay it towards the other in order to provide seamless shopping experiences.