Agile Sosandar sails through COVID-19 lockdown

Following today’s release of Sosandar figures for the two months ending 31 May 2020,

Emily Salter, Retail Analyst at GlobalData, a leading data and analytics company, comments:

‘‘Online pureplay Sosandar has proven that its brand identity and product proposition resonate with shoppers as it has managed to generate revenue growth of 62% for the two months ending 31 May, sending its share price rocketing this morning (+38%). As an online only retailer it has a distinct advantage over its multichannel competitors including Next and Debenhams, as they will feel the impact of prolonged store closures and stock being held in stores, and Sosandar already has a model in place to quickly adapt to shopper demand.

Despite this being a highly turbulent period, Sosandar has announced new strategies to drive further growth to allow it to better compete with more established womenswear brands. The brand will launch on John Lewis & Partners’ and Next’s websites in Autumn/ Winter 2020, helping Sosandar generate greater customer awareness and piggyback on Next’s strong online growth. To achieve success via these websites, it must ensure that its products stand out from the wide range of existing brands and that sales do not cannibalise revenue from its own site – its delivery saver scheme and recent introduction of Klarna will help with this, but it should also retain exclusive products for its own site.

Sosandar has witnessed changing shopping habits as a result of the lockdown, with a shift to more casual ranges which it adapted to by changing its new-in products to reflect this. Many of its competitors will not have been able to adjust as quickly so will have lost shoppers from focusing ranges on less relevant categories including occasionwear. The retailer also introduced waitlists for sold out items to ensure quick sell through, reducing the need for discounting in the future. Sosandar discounted in early April due to low demand, but then was able to shift shoppers back to purchasing items at full price, something that many clothing retailers have been unable to do with rivals including ASOS, Whistles and Debenhams offering frequent promotions. Sosandar has also introduced measures to control costs as it expects to report a loss for FY2019/20, slightly higher than the £6.5m – £6.8m it anticipated in March, including reducing its marketing expenditure by 69%, reverting back to relying on social media to drive new customer acquisition.”

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