Missguided reports sales up following multichannel investment

Fast fashion retailer Missguided has reported sales of £117 million in its latest financial year, 34 per cent up on the same time last year, following a multichannel strategy of building global awareness and expanding its physical presence in stores.

During the year it opened a 21,000 sq ft flagship store at Westfield, Stratford, and now has concessions in third-party stores including 60 branches of Nordstrom in the US, branches of Selfridges and Schuh.

In its results statement Missguided said it the opening was the first in a pipeline of openings. It also grew awareness of its brand through wholesale partnerships with third-party retailers including Asos and Zalando, and is exploring further international opportunities.

Missguided said that investment in marketing, technology, infrastructure and team expansion had hit profits in the year just gone – earnings before tax, interest and asset depreciation fell to £2.6 million in the year from £5.5 million at the same time last year. But it said that that investment was now paying off, growing by 60 per cent in the six months to September.

Nitin Passi, founder and chief executive of Missguided said, “2015/2016 was a year of heavy investment for the company across all areas of the business. We continued to develop our systems and platform and made the strategic decision to outsource our fulfillment operation and to invest in a new warehouse and HQ.

“The business further invested in personnel adding 179 new employees to HQ. This has continued to date with 157 HQ staff added this financial year so far. We increased our product offering and launched a number of new categories including lingerie, nightwear, plus, petite and tall which have been received well.

“International growth has been strong with 40 per cent of our business this year being driven through international markets. We have seen investment come to fruition for the start of this financial year where our current year on year growth is over 60 per cent with a significant increase in EBITDA. We continue to invest in our omnichannel offering with the recent launch of our first flagship store.”

Missguided said an aggressive marketing strategy had been paramount: a mix of above the line and below the line channels helped to drive growth. Social media was been particularly influential in helping to drive Missguided’s loyal client base, providing a platform for conversation between brand and customer.

The business now has over 3.3 million followers across nine different channels – including more than 2m on Instagram, 995,000 on Facebook and 399,000 on Twitter.

A native app introduced during the year has so far been downloaded 1 million times, while other strategic developments included localised German and Polish sites, the introduction of free UK returns, Apple Pay and new delivery programmes with Asda, Doddle and Collect Plus.