Superdry mulls financing options as sales plunge amid store closures

Superdry has said it is exploring financing options as it revealed that sales plunged over the past three months amid the coronavirus lockdown.

The fashion brand said total sales dived by 36.9% to £118.5 million in the quarter to the end of April, compared to the same period last year, as it was knocked by Government-enforced store closures.

The retailer, which has 740 branded stores globally, closed its first stores in Italy on March 11, before expanding its temporary closure programme as more countries introduced lockdown restrictions.

Sales before the outbreak were “encouraging”, with revenue dipping by 1% year-on-year for the six week to March 7, it said.

Superdry has continued to trade online despite the disruption, with online sales doubling over the past four weeks.

It said that growth in its e-commerce business has offset approximately one third of the lost store sales.

The company said it has taken numerous steps in order to save cash, including furloughing 88% of its staff.

Superdry boss Julian Dunkerton
Superdry boss Julian Dunkerton

It added that it has received £20 million worth of rent referrals while the business rate holiday for the current financial year will save it around £16 million.

Julian Dunkerton, chief executive officer of the company, said: “As with all retailers, the Covid-19 pandemic has caused major disruption to our business operations and supply chain.

“I am pleased with the accelerating shift in sales to online, and we’ve seen a particularly good performance from our women’s ranges which, for the first time ever, are accounting for around half our sales.

“Clearly however, the closure of all our stores has had a major impact.

“We are taking all practical steps to preserve cash, looking carefully at all areas of the business and working to secure additional liquidity and financial flexibility.”

Shares in the company lifted 10.6% higher to 130.7p in early trading on Thursday.