Findel boosted by Studio fashion ops in buoyant Q3
Diversified business Findel said Friday that its third quarter (the 15 weeks to the end of December) saw buoyant trading in its value retail operation with its Studio unit riding high.
The Studio value retailer sells women’s, men’s and kidswear, as well as beauty products, homewares and electricals. And while all of those categories struggled in the wider UK retail sector during the last quarter, for Findel, the news was much better.
In fact, Q3 product sales roses as much as 13.6%, which meant an acceleration in the quarter as the increase for the first nine months was only 7.8%. That marks Studio out as different from many of its retail peers which saw a slowdown in the last few months compared to earlier in the year. And encouragingly, the strong trading performance at Studio reported at the time of its interim results continued into December.
As well as the overall good figures, the value of online sales increased by 25%, with 78% of total orders being received through online channels during the period and the mobile site “proving especially popular with new customers for browsing and creating wishlists.”
It also said that customers “were attracted by the product personalisation that Studio offers, with personalised nightwear proving particularly popular during December as Christmas gifts.”
And while January is typically a quieter period for the group, the early weeks of the new spring/summer season for Studio “have shown an encouraging response from customers.”
Phil Maudsley, group CEO, said he was “delighted with the strong performance of Studio in its peak trading period. This is testament to the increased strength and consumer recognition of our online value retail offer.”
He said the unit delivered record-breaking sales and strong margin performance in the weeks leading up to Black Friday and that means the company now expects pre-tax profit for the full year to be towards the upper end of current market expectations.
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