Superdry’s losses almost double amid Covid-19 lockdown

Clothing brand Superdry nearly doubled its losses in its most recent financial year as it dealt with the first month of lockdown.

The retailer said that pre-tax loss reached £166.9 million in the 12 months ending April 25, up 87% from last year’s £89.3 million loss.

It came as Superdry was forced to close all of its stores in the last month of the financial year, pushing revenue down 19% to £704.4 million.

But the drop in revenue was also evidence of a change in direction for the business.

Since founder Julian Dunkerton returned to the fold in April last year he has started slashing discounts on its stores.

In January he said that the proportion of the business’s sales that were discounted had halved over the peak trading period, around Christmas.

But it is a plan that Mr Dunkerton has been forced to – at least temporarily – shelve because of the Covid-19 pandemic.

“We have discounted more in recent months compared to the prior year to help clear excess stock which accumulated during the temporary store closures resulting from Covid-19,” bosses said on Monday.

Around 95% of Superdry’s stores have now reopened.

Mr Dunkerton said: “While our underlying profit has been impacted by trading performance during the year, including Covid-19-related store closures, I am particularly pleased by how strongly e-commerce has performed, with the 2021 financial year first-quarter revenues nearly doubling year-on-year.

“This has been complemented by our increased digital consumer engagement, which helped drive a stronger womenswear mix than we have ever seen before.

“We are delivering on the reset of the business, despite the impacts of the pandemic. This has included reinvigorating the store design and layout, preparing for a relaunch of our website, and significantly increasing the number of options available both in store and online.”

So far this financial year business is still interrupted, but is doing better than it was around April.