After the pandemic saw its stores were shut for nearly 40 per cent of the year, Cheltenham fashion house Superdry has returned to growth in its final quarter of 2021.
Founder and chief executive Julian Dunkerton said the global brand was also getting recognition for its pledge to become the leading listed sustainable fashion brand by 2030.
In an upbeat statement accompanying the Superdry’s annual results, Dunkerton acknowledged the year had left a big dent in the firm’s balance sheet and trading remained challenging.
‘Like most brands with a physical presence, our performance over the past year has been impacted by the significant disruption of Covid-19, but I am really proud of how the business has stepped up and returned to revenue growth in Q4.
‘Store and wholesale revenues are recovering well despite continued subdued footfall, and ecommerce margin is benefitting from our return to a full price stance.’
Stores were shut for 39 per cent of the potential trading days and sales were down 21 per cent on the previous year, with group revenue falling from £704.4 million to £556.1m in the year to 24 April 2021.
Superdry managed to shift business online, with 60 per cent of sales taking place through its digital platforms. Online sales grew 33.1 per cent to £201.8 million.
Its social media following grew to 3.3 million with the business declaring it was now moving to a ‘social-first’ marketing strategy.
This year Superdry, famously started by Dunkerton on a market stall in Cheltenham, was ranked top of the _Financial Times_’ list of Europe Climate Leaders for 2021 and aims to sell only organic cotton clothing by 2025.
By Andrew Merrell