ONLINE fashion brand Boohoo has said shoppers have gone back to buying clothes this month after dramatically scaling back their spending in March.
The company said it suffered a “marked” fall in sales at the beginning of the coronavirus crisis last month, as sales fell sharply in March compared to the same month last year.
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But "performance improved" in recent weeks as shoppers started online spending again in April, it said.
"We remain cautious regarding our outlook, as a result of the uncertainty caused by the Covid-19 pandemic," it added.
The Boohoo group – which also owns brands including PrettyLittleThing and Nasty Gal – said recent global events had overshadowed an otherwise “great” financial year.
The full year results for the group showed sales up 44 per cent to £1.23billion and pre-tax profits up 54 per cent to £92.2million.
Sales for the main Boohoo label grew by 38 per cent to £600million last year, while PrettyLittleThing grew sales by 38 per cent to £516.3million.
Nasty Gal had a record year, doubling sales from last year to £98million.
The group has also recently acquired fashion brands Karen Millen, Coast and Miss Pap.
It said these brands are “resurging under new ownership and direction as online-only brands, with their great heritage intact”.
These are the brands which the Boohoo group owns.
- Nasty Gal
- Miss Pap
- Karen Millen
The results are a marked contrast to retail rival Primark, which yesterday announced it would furlough 68,000 workers across Europe as sales plummeted.
The coronavirus crisis has forced the chain to temporarily close 376 stores across Europe, including 189 branches in the UK.
Because Primark has no online store, its monthly sales dropped from £650million to zero in March.
Boohoo also said today that its "top priority" remains the health and wellbeing of its staff, and it has been following government advice on self-isolation, social distancing and personal hygiene.
"Our fantastic warehouse teams have adapted to completely new ways of working to ensure that they abide by all the social distancing procedures that we have in place," it said.
Its office-based staff are now working from home.
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The British Retail Consortium, which represents retailers in the UK, warned last week that hundreds of thousands of jobs were at risk as the high street experiences its worst decline in 25 years.
Meanwhile, homeware and fashion brand Cath Kidston is to close all of its 60 shops, with the loss of 900 jobs.
Other brands have slashed prices to encourage consumers to shop.
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