SuperGroup has experienced a strong start to autumn after the cold weather helped drive early sales of its young fashion brand Superdry’s outerwear collection.
SuperGroup chief executive Julian Dunkerton told Drapers that the brand and retailer’s performance had been helped by fantastic T-shirt sales over the summer and a “very strong” start to jackets at retail.
He added that the autumn 10 order books had closed ahead of last year which helped group sales to rise 58.8% to £32.8m for the three months to August 1. Within that, wholesale sales grew 53.9% to £10.5m, boosted by Superdry’s increased popularity overseas. Retail sales at the Cult chain and Superdry standalones grew 62.7% to £22.3m.
Dunkerton said he was unable to comment on the overall mood of the independent retail sector in the UK because Superdry’s spring 11 order books were yet to close.
Separately, he said the rise in cotton prices and input costs would have “no material” effect on margins. He added: “Yes there are cotton price movements but, because we are naturally retailers, any price increases we are considering carefully. A jacket can go from £74.99 to £79.99 and it’s not the end of the world, but a shirt at £44.99 we would keep at the same price.”
He added: “We’re using our economies of scale [because we are growing so quickly] to counter some rises. I wouldn’t say we are insulated from them but we have more scope to manage them because of our rate of growth.”
Dunkerton said he was yet to notice any effect of a young fashion slowdown, where high street trend-led chains claim sales have been hit by increased youth unemployment and a decrease in student numbers.
He added that, regardless of the state of the market, lots of opportunities were still available in fashion. He confirmed he was considering potential spin-off brands to Superdry.
He said: “I’ve always got plans. Watch this space. There is always a gap in the market and always space for new things. You just have to have the wit to try them.”
SuperGroup opened five UK stores in the three months, taking its store count to 47 and its concessions to 56.
The group has recently opened franchise stores in Belgium, France and Germany. A shop in Dubai will open imminently.