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Exclusive: Little Mistress Group to expand marketplace

The Little Mistress Group is looking to expand into new product categories for its marketplace following its launch last month.

The group is searching for brand partners across categories including make-up, beauty, living and gifts, face and body, lingerie and nightwear and swimwear.

It comes after the business, which owns Little Mistress, Girls on Film and Paper Dolls, launched a new online marketplace in March.

It currently stocks 26 brands including Sass & Belle, Goddiva, Warehouse, Oasis, Pretty You London and Divine Grace. Coast is joining the site in May.

Mark Ashton, CEO of the Little Mistress Group, said: “The new marketplace is all about variety for our customer, new opportunities for brands to share our audience in a more profitable way than the traditional wholesale channel.

“Brands can choose to send us the stock and we take care of everything, or brands can keep the stock at their own warehouse and receive an immediate alert once a sale happens. They then take care of the product journey and Little Mistress receive a commission on that net sale.”

Meanwhile, Drapers can also reveal that the group is rolling out its footprint in the Middle East this summer.

A further 11 Little Mistress standalone stores will open across Kuwait, UAE, Bahrain, Qatar and Egypt with franchise partner Al Shaya in May, taking the total to 12. 

Girls on Film will open four more standalone stores across UAE, Qatar, Kuwait and Bahrain with LIWA Stores, part of Al Nasser Holdings, taking its total to 11

The Little Mistress Group reported a 14.4% increase in revenue to £25.4m in the year to 30 June.

Gross profit increased by 50% from £6m to £9m in the same period.

However, operating profit decreased by 14% to £404,686, compared with £470,876 in 2017.

Ashton added: “We continue to grow and invest in our brands, providing real value to both wholesale and retail – retail in the form of concession, franchise and LittleMistress.com and web integration partners.

“Throughout the year, we increased our activity with our private-label service where we design here in London, produce in our own approved factories and deliver direct to the high street or pureplay brand. Our unique product is key and, as we offer the widest selection of both branded and private-label product in the UK, it’s then about working with those key partners and channels to maximise the journey.

“As our lead time, production and flexibility are within our control, we have worked with 40% less stock than last year, so I am very happy with 14% sales increase.

“We have invested significant amounts over the last three years in our IT infrastructure, new head office and marketing. We will ramp up on the marketing again this year, which will heavily benefit all sales channels and partners.”

 

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