Crew Clothing's big-name retailer links drive strong Christmas, January looks good
There’s a key trend being seen in UK retail with brand after brand reporting strong Christmas trading on the back of their link-ups with John Lewis, Next, M&S and Very.
And so it was for Crew Clothing with three of those major retailers. The company said this week that it saw an “overwhelmingly positive” Christmas trading period with its online sales helped by its presence on the John Lewis, Next and Very webstores
Like many of its retail peers in the seven weeks to 8 January, it saw surging demand for party clothes and online sales jumped 15%. Cash-strapped consumers may have been more cautious than usual this time, but they still embraced the first ‘normal’ festive season since 2019.
The company had doubled its dresses mix to 14% from 7% and this clearly paid off. Men’s knit and shirts were also strong. But even with the focus on partywear, the brand’s classic half-zip sweat was its bestselling product.
The company has a flexible stock model that allowed it to make the most of its relationships with the Big Three retail sites by “trading into demand” and making sure it was able to supply what shoppers wanted and get it to them on time.
Sales via its own website weren’t quite so spectacular, but despite being broadly flat year on year, they were up 41% against the equivalent period pre-Covid.
As seen elsewhere, store sales performed strongly too with a 15% jump on the year and a 9% like-for-like rise.
CEO David Butler admitted that the backdrop was “challenging” but said the firm’s omnichannel model “and our agile, customer-focused strategy” ensured success during the key shopping season.
He added that the loyal customer base continues to grow and the business has seen “positive momentum into 2023” with January sales proving strong so far.
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