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Redbubble reveals huge demand for face masks in Q4

Sales of face masks accounted for a significant proportion of Redbubble’s marketplace revenue in Q4, according to a business update that the company released on Friday ahead of its FY20 results later this month.

The art and design marketplace said it is expecting total marketplace revenue of $368 million in FY20, a 43 per cent increase year on year (36 per cent increase on a constant currency basis).

This is largely due to the rapid rise in online shopping during the global coronavirus pandemic, with marketplace revenue in Q4 roughly doubling year on year to $122 million.

While the rise in online shopping resulted in growth across all product categories and core geographies, Redbubble noted that face masks were a major growth driver.

Face masks accounted for $26 million in marketplace revenue from the end of April, when the product category launched, to July 31, the ASX-listed company said.

Sales have remained elevated since the end of FY20, with marketplace revenue in July up by 132 per cent year on year.

These figures are from internal management reports on a paid basis and have not been subject to audit, but they reflect the mixed impact that Covid-19 has had on the retail sector, with many e-commerce businesses seeing rapid growth in recent months.

Just last year, at the end of the first half, Redbubble issued a trading update that growth had been slower than expected and that it would need to “pull all levers” to deliver the best possible FY20 result.

In February, the marketplace let go of then-CEO Barry Newstead and brought back Redbubble’s founder Martin Hosking to get the business back on track. Hosking remains at the helm.

Founded in 2006, Redbubble is an online marketplace that allows independent artists to sell their own designs on everything from outfits to homewares. It operates globally, but has a strong presence in North America, where it acquired a rival marketplace called TeePublic in 2018.

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