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Missguided credits fast UK sourcing for record growth

Missguided’s rapid sourcing model is central to its record profit and revenue growth, with over half of the etailer’s collections supplied by UK factories, according to chief financial officer Paul Masters.

“Almost all of the ranges are designed in-house and between 50% and 60% comes from UK factories,” he said, as the Manchester-based company reported EBITDA increased six-fold from £900,000 to £5.5m for the year to March 31.

The young fashion etailer, which introduces an average of 250 new items online each week, increased revenue by 69% to £86m during the same period.

“We have an established base in the UK, which is a real benefit to us, and a very fast sourcing model from our suppliers in China and the Far East. We can turn things round from conception of design to having it up on the site within a matter of weeks,” said Masters.

“To compete in this market we need to make sure we are at the forefront of rapid fashion in terms of sourcing and technology.”

UK sales make up approximately 75% of revenue, but international sales are growing at a rate of approximately 200% per year, compared with domestic growth of around 50%.

Missguided operates sites in the UK, the US, Australia and France. It will open its first concession with US retailer Nordstrom in selected stores and online this month.

“The Nordstrom deal gives us a fantastic platform both commercially and to increase our brand awareness in the US, which is one of our priority markets for growth going forward,” said Masters. “It offers a huge opportunity for a brand like ours if we get it right.

“We have done a small amount of wholesale overseas in the past, but this is the first of this kind in terms of size and scope. If the right opportunity came along with the right partner, we’d consider it – it’s a great tool to increase brand awareness.”

He also did not rule out opening bricks and mortar stores in future. “We will look at all channels that are open to our consumer,” he said. “Our focus is on our own site, but we may well look at standalone stores in the future, if it makes sense for the business.”

The company is set to move to a new head office at Salford Quays, having outgrown the site in Coronet Way it moved into in 2012, which acts as both a warehouse and head office.

It also signed a seven-year deal with transport and logistics company Norbert Dentressangle to manage its domestic and international orders and will move to a warehouse in Trafford Park operated by the firm in early 2016.

Existing warehouse staff from Missguided moved to Norbert Dentressangle under a TUPE transfer in March.

Missguided currently employs 225 people.

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