Investment in its distribution network helped Quiz to post strong Christmas trading figures earlier today, and the business is now “well-placed” to combat the ongoing challenging environment, its chief commercial officer has said.
Quiz reported a 31.9% lift in group revenue for the seven weeks to 6 January 2018, which was boosted by growth of 119% in online sales. This online growth was supported by extensive investment in the retailer’s distribution network.
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Chief commercial officer Sheraz Ramzan said the business had invested £750,000 in the run up to the peak festive trading period, which included increasing the number of packing stations from 24 to 78.
“That’s allowed us to really support the strong online sales for the period,” he said.
“It has been an important investment for the business, to ensure that we’ve met Black Friday and the Christmas peak with the confidence and the infrastructure to support the volumes, and we’ve managed to successfully do that.”
Quiz is further investing in its distribution centre in the coming months to improve replenishment to stores, as well as to continue boosting online sales.
Long-term, Ramzan said the business sees the potential for 40-50 more stores in the UK and Ireland, but the focus at the moment is on growing and supporting the omnichannel business.
Currently the group has 70 stores in the UK, as well as 148 concessions.
Ramzan acknowledged the tough trading environment, with falling consumer spend seeing some retailers struggling.
“We’re not immune to those things, but I think with our fast fashion business model, our USP and our constant focus on offering the right product at value price points will allow us to continue succeeding this year,” he told Drapers.
“When there are challenges out there I think that often fast fashion brands can do well as people look to better value in tough times,” he added.
International also performed strongly, with a 51.1% (46.9% on a constant-currency basis) rise in sales.
The Middle East, where Quiz operates a franchise, is the strongest international market for the retailer, and there are plans to develop the Middle Eastern and Asian franchise operations, while expanding elsewhere through its online business.
“The beauty of omnichannel is that we can pick the best opportunities for each market, depending on the area we’re moving into,” said Ramzan.
“When it comes to the Middle East and Asia, that’s through franchise, whereas in the US and European markets we’re looking at the online, omnichannel approach.
”There’s a lot of strength to pick and choose the best opportunities out there.”