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City Chic’s online business now accounts for over half of its total sales

Plus-size women’s fashion brand City Chic said its online business now represents over half of its total sales.

The company posted a 39 per cent rise in sales revenue of $104.8 million with comparable sales growth of 11.3 per cent for the 26 weeks to December 29, 2019.

Online penetration is at 53 per cent of its total sales.

The clothing retailer said its net profit after tax for continuing operations was $10.5 million and for the group was $10.6 million. Underlying earnings before interest, taxation and amortisation was $19.1 million.

“The first half saw another strong performance from our global online business, which now represents over half our total sales,” said Phil Ryan, City Chic chief executive and managing director.

“We grew our customer base by 130,000 and expanded our product offering for the plus-size market.”

Ryan said the company’s acquisition of plus-size brand Avenue has significantly grown their US customer base and demographic reach, and has really played to their strengths.

“Avenue delivers on our strategic intent to become a global online retailer in the plus market,” he said.

Unaudited 1H FY20 results showed revenue was up 39 per cent from the previous corresponding period to $104.8 million with comparable sales growth of 11.3 per cent.

According to City Chic, the company has seen strong growth for both City Chic Australasian and US websites.

The company’s gross profit margin of 54.2 per cent was impacted by the material shift in channel mix to online and the inclusion of Avenue. Despite being the most profitable channel at the earnings line, online has a lower gross profit margin due to higher fulfilment costs. Avenue is a lower gross profit margin business.

Notwithstanding the impact of the shift in channel mix, the gross profit margin for the stores were maintained.

City Chic said it remains on track to achieve positive comparable sales growth for FY20.

The fashion brand said, however, if disruption to production due to the coronavirus continues, there will be an impact on stock levels and sales for the Australian and New Zealand operations in the last quarter of FY20 and this would impact the level of positive comps achieved for the full year.

“Some of City Chic’s factory base is in the Hubei province, which remains closed,” the company announced. “City Chic is working closely with its long-standing supply partners and at this stage the disruption will not impact sales and inventory.”

The retailer said it will update the market with any material changes to the situation.

This story first appeared on sister site Inside Retail New Zealand.

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