The boohoo group is well-placed to face COVID-19

Following today’s release of boohoo group FY figures for 2019/20,

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

‘‘Well positioned to deal with the impacts of COVID-19, the boohoo group has reported another set of enviable results, with group revenue rising 44.1%, ahead of the revised group expectations of 40-42% it provided in January, indicating a stellar final quarter. Growth was driven by its key brands, with, unusually, boohoo.com reporting a stronger performance than younger sister brand PrettyLittleThing at 39.1% versus 37.9% respectively, as the brands continue to grow internationally and resonate with their young shoppers with trend-led products and influencer-focused marketing.

The retailer reported that trading has been mixed since mid-March due to the impacts of the coronavirus outbreak in Europe and the US, with an initial decrease in year-on-year growth followed by an improvement in April, as it attempts to capitalise upon the demand for loungewear and work from home attire from its young, image-conscious shoppers. As with rival ASOS, the boohoo group came under fire in March for keeping its warehouse open during lockdown, but stayed open and provided reassurance that social distancing measures were in place. Additionally, with other players such as Arcadia and New Look being criticised for cancelling stock and delaying payment to their suppliers, the boohoo group is continuing to pay its suppliers on time and has set up an emergency fund to help them, strengthening its supply chain and boosting consumer perceptions of its ethics which will benefit it in the long term.

Though the boohoo group has not provided any guidance for its FY2020/21, it is well positioned to weather the retail storm as an agile online pureplay, and when consumers are able to start going out again, its key brands will benefit from their value propositions during a period of low consumer confidence. Newer acquisitions Karen Millen and Coast will be the most exposed due to their occasionwear focus and higher price points, and cracks are already showing with the brands offering 40% and 50% off everything. This will have little impact on the fate of the group though, as Karen Millen, Coast and MissPap combined only account for 1.5% of total revenue.”

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