As online plus-sized womenswear retailer Navabi officially launches in the UK this spring Drapers chats to its founder and chief executive about opportunities for growth.
Q: When will Navabi launch in the UK?
A: We have had an English site operating since 2009, although until now we haven’t really invested in the UK market. Officially the launch date for the site in the UK is this quarter, as we will invest in marketing efforts here for the first time.
Q: How much sales growth have you seen in the UK since the site has been operating here?
A: We have seen triple digit growth year-on-year since we launched
Q: What sort of growth are you expecting in the UK in 2013?
A: Based on what we have seen over the last few years, I think we can hope for at least triple-digit growth, if not more.
Q: Which brands are you making available for UK consumers?
A: All the brands that are on our website are available to all of our UK customers, including Roberto Cavalli White and Samoon.
Q: Are you looking to introduce more brands and if so, how many are you looking to take on this year?
A: New brands this year for spring 13 include Basler, Bogner, Concept K, Evelin Brandt, Gerry Weber, Sportalm, Thomas Rabe as well as some other smaller brands. We are also introducing a completely new product category in the form of beachwear. For autumn 13 we are still in the process of negotiation with brands.
Q: You also offer style advice on the site, can you tell me about this service?
A: We have learned over the past few years that most women, especially curvy women, are very grateful for fashion advice. We would like to answer all of their questions, whatever they may be: What can I wear for a special occasion, how do I flatter my body shape, which colours and designs are fashionable right now…?
That is why we offer the style advice pages on our website. Our customers can filter the clothes by occasion; they can take a look at current trends, inspiring style icons and are provided with style advice for different body shapes and body parts. We also have a biweekly online fashion magazine on our website that covers all these topics for our customers and gives them even more insight into today’s fashion and style.
Q: Are you recruiting more staff as you expand?
A: In 2009, Navabi had five employees and today the number is above 100. We expect to keep up the growth rate and are looking for key hires in all departments. Primarily we will be recruiting for marketing and purchasing roles.