Matchesfashion.com reports a 73% increase in online sales in full-year to January 2017, a figure that helped its turnover rise 61% to £204m. Importantly too, it seems to have resonated with the global luxury shopper as international sales rose 80% compared to a ‘mere’ 45% for the UK. It currently ships to 170 countries and that international growth is crucial as four-fifths of its sales are now made outside of the UK.
It achieved all that growth after seeing 55m visits to its websites and almost 600,000 orders. New customer numbers soared 60%. And with the average customer spending £511 per order, it seems it is convincing customers to increase their order size. That £511 figure was a 14% increase year-on-year. Profit on an basis EBITDA was up an astounding 458% to £19m year-on-year.
The company, which founders Ruth and Tom Chapman started as a single boutique in Wimbledon 30 years ago, still operates four stores in London.It came relatively late to e-tail, only launching online in 2007.
But with 95% of sales now generated online, it has made the channel its own, although those stores remain important. They allow the retailer to offer a full VIP luxury personal service in a way that its pureplay high-end rivals simply cannot do.
But online is the key focus and recent initiatives, like the launch of a French language version of the site, are likely to drive online’s share of the firm’s total sales even higher.
The French site which launched only last month, came too late to affect 2016’s figures. But its debut as the company’s first localised non-English language website, further underscores the importance of the global customer. Including dedicated mobile apps, a print magazine, a stylist team and next-day delivery, it is a template for future local language development.
Back with the 2016 results, Tom Chapman, now executive co-chairman, said in the results report: “In recent years we have focused on building the foundations — of people, operations, and technology — to enable future growth, with a focus on driving an agile business at scale. The results demonstrate that we are now starting to deliver the return on the investment made.”
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