Boohoo is relaunching Nasty Gal in the UK and sees global opportunities for the brand, the group’s co-founder Carol Kane told Drapers today.
The brand started advertising on London Underground and on MTV over the last month, and has organised its team between the UK and LA, with sourcing and dispatch based in the UK.
Nasty Gal filed for chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in November last year. Boohoo acquired the intellectual property rights and customer databases for the US etailer for $20m (£16m) in February this year.
“We cherry-picked a couple of the people involved in the brand who were based in LA, because we felt it was important to have a good brand understanding rather than just our own opinions,” Kane said. “We’ve underpinned all of that with a great UK sourcing team, which is big departure for us because not everyone involved is UK based – some are based in the US.”
Boohoo is aiming to cater to US and international consumers by leveraging the operational side of the business with existing Boohoo structures, removing costly import duties and long shipping times from when the brand was based in the US.
“At the moment Nasty Gal’s sales are largely US-based but it does have some global brand awareness and some international business,” said Kane. “Now that we’ve centralised everything from a dispatch perspective to the UK, we can ship around the world without restrictions as we can with Boohoo. NastyGal would have never have been able to ship next day to the UK, now it can.”
News of Boohoo’s plans for NastyGal came as Boohoo announced its profits had doubled for the full year to 28 February 2017. Operating profit rose 101% to £30.3m from £15m the previous year.
The Boohoo brand experienced strong international growth, particularly in the US, where sales rose 140%. Kane credited to a non-traditional marketing strategy to increase exposure, including a “Boohoo bus”, which toured the US from spring break in Miami to the Coachella festival in California in April.
“The strategy for us has largely been about taking that product directly to the consumer,” said Kane. “The strategy that we’ve been employing internationally over the last 24 months has been working really well. [We have been] largely working away from traditional advertisers, more with influencers and social.”
Kane also highlighted the growth of BoohooMan, following the launch of a dedicated website a year ago. Menswear sales have doubled over the year.
“The biggest change we’ve made there is that we’ve separated out the team from womenswear,” said Kane. “BoohooMan now has its own marketers, its own buyers and planners.”
Over the next year, Kane said Boohoo will maintain its focus on investing in pricing and delivery, as well as increasing the investment in influencer marketing and campaign frequency.