Cath Kidston sales surge on Asian demand, UK tourist boost, Disney collabs
Cath Kidston has enjoyed a strong start to the financial year, reporting a 12.2% growth to £59.9m in group sales on the back of strong international sales in Japan and Thailand.
The British retailer’s vintage-inspired lifestyle products are proving extremely popular overseas, with international sales growing 44.3% to £18.9m in the first half ended 24 September. In particular, home, childrenswear and bags are in high demand in Japan, where the business saw 30% growth in sales in the six months.
Meanwhile in the UK, “tourist stores” in London, airports and railway stations are performing particularly strongly, benefitting from international visitors to the UK taking advantage of the weaker pound.
Gross profit for the period increased by 12.9% to £39.3m, as an increase in full-price sales and a reduction in promotional activity led to a 50 bps increase in gross margin.
“Cath Kidston is performing strongly both at home in the UK and internationally, with Japan and Thailand particularly strong,” said CEO Kenny Wilson. “Our international stores provide a natural hedge to the weaker sterling and we benefit from our diversification both in terms of the breadth of our customer base and the product range.”
He said the first half of the year was “the best start to the year we have ever had.” In the period the quintessentially British brand launched three new collections including two collaborations with Disney, which have been among the most successful products it has ever made.
The company also said its new stores in India, launched in October this year, are showing great potential.
“Asia continues to be a very strong market for us and we are planning more store openings in the region next year,” continued Wilson.
Since its launch in 1993 with a single shop in London, Cath Kidston has become a global lifestyle brand with stores in countries including India, France, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Japan, Korea, Malaysia, Singapore, Spain, Taiwan, Thailand and the UK. The business was acquired by Baring Asia in October 2016 for an undisclosed sum.
By Barbara Santamaria
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