Lingerie retailer Boux Avenue, part of the Theo Paphitis Retail Group, has reported that total sales increased by 9.1 percent in the year to March 31, 2021, compared with the same period in 2019.
The retailer describes the growth as an “amazing performance” considering its stores were closed for more than half of the year due to the pandemic, and that it has made “significant progress” following its strategic review in 2019.
It adds that underlying EBITDA losses reduced to 3.5 million pounds, despite disruption and costs relating to the pandemic, from the previously reported loss of 14.9 million pounds, an underlying improvement of 11.4 million pounds.
Boux Avenue added that sales were boosted by the 129.7 percent growth in e-commerce sales, up on 2020, and that its performance has “further improve” during the current financial year, with sales and profits “well ahead of last year”.
The lingerie retailer, which has 29 stores across the UK, also reported a 50.6 percent growth increase in sales during the six week Christmas trading period to December 24, including both e-commerce and stores, compared to 2019.
Boux Avenue pre-Christmas sale increase by 50.6 percent
Theo Paphitis, chairman of the Theo Paphitis Retail Group, which comprises Boux Avenue, Ryman and Robert Dyas, said in a statement: “Boux Avenue has made excellent progress in the last financial year and had a strong Christmas, with the investment in e-commerce and product development, in particular, enabling this performance.
“Having come through a difficult period, our strategic review and implementation of this has seen the business well set for the future. Our customers have responded positively to our ranges and demonstrated their loyalty to the brand through switching between channels. This was demonstrated by the underlying EBITDA improving by 11.4 million pounds in the last financial year.”
Boux Avenue has had a busy 2021, the lingerie retailer launched its first dress collection collaborated with Love Island stars Liberty Poole and Kaz Kamw and unveileda capsule lounge underwear collection made with recycled fibres, as part of its commitment to offer more sustainable options to its customers.
Theo Paphitis Retail Group reports “strong growth”
In the financial update, the Theo Paphitis Retail Group said its “strong growth” shows its resilience through the pandemic, and how its stores and online business have “worked together”.
Total group sales were up 15.6 percent in the six weeks to December 24, against the same period in 2019, which it states is the only meaningful measure, given the lockdown impact to trade in 2020. This growth was attributed to strong performance across all brands in e-commerce, which increased by 87.5 percent compared with 2019, while store sales dropped by 6.3 percent.
Theo Paphitis calls for business rates reform
Paphitis also used the opportunity to call on the government to reform the business rates system, which he states is “damaging the industry” and asked them to make it “fit for the 21st century”.
He added: “Retail remains a fantastic and exciting, innovative industry to be in, and one which we are incredibly proud of. It is resilient, defiant in the face of the unexpected and continues to create careers at all levels and deserves to continue to be a sector that is fairly supported. Whilst business was supported through the pandemic, especially as stores were closed in unprecedented circumstances, the continued reluctance of the government to implement a fair and just realignment of the business rates tax, fit for the 21st Century, continues to damage the industry.
“We need a grown-up government to grasp the business rates nettle and deal with it! Whilst appreciating the complexities of the task, it’s by no stretch of the imagination impossible to complete in this modern age.
“The focus for 2022 is building on the positive, innovation, and our colleague development, in order to satisfy our customers. We, like so many in this sector, have responded well when we’ve had everything, including the kitchen sink thrown at us, and will continue to dig deep to keep physical retail alive, as a key function of communities, but we cannot do this on our own. Over to you Mr Prime Minister.”