Rocío ALONSO LOPEZ
Sep 1 2021
Wolford said the first half of this year “took place in a similar fashion to the final months of 2020” with trade in the United States and China continuing their “strong growth,” while current and new Covid restrictions “led to to significant business losses in Europe. “
That said, he believes it has been a “strong” first half with double-digit sales and earnings growth. That was despite six or seven months of “continuous lockdowns in numerous European countries.”
In some ways, it made the first half of 2021 more challenging than the first half of 2020, affected by the pandemic. The first wave last year had had store closures lasting only two to three months, but the longer closures this year were a “significant challenge.”
However, the company achieved a turnover of 41.9 million euros during the reported period from January to June, 10% more than the previous year. Meanwhile, the € 13.3 million loss (it did not specify whether it was an operating or a net loss) was actually a 31% improvement over last year.
The 2021 figure was helped not only by higher sales, but also by a significant reduction in operating costs and a 4.5 percentage point increase in gross profit margin to 81.4%.
Wolford experienced sales growth across almost all channels and geographies and its online sales increased 18%. Business in the United States and China also grew in double digits, while in EMEA, “sales were more or less held” despite the aforementioned “significant trade losses” in Europe.
The company also said that its new brand architecture presented last year is “well established thanks to a solid plan of collaborations within the ‘W Lab’ and the consolidation of ‘The W’, the collection with a more contemporary and urban attitude” .
The company has high expectations of its collaborations, saying that “with the first international cooperation of the year, Amina Muaddi x Wolford, a new and fashion conscious consumer group was reached on an international level, driven by a predominantly focus and presence of digital marketing in selected fashion stores ”.
Key markets were also “successfully expanded even further through local collaborations.” The next local collaboration will be a partnership with Neiwai, a Chinese brand known for its simple and sustainable lingerie, which will be unveiled in China this month.
Wolford said that with consistent half-year results “and a strong strategy for the second half of the year,” the board expects to break even for the full year and sales so far are doing well in the second half.
This is being (or will be) helped by the implementation last month of a new omnichannel digital architecture, a reduction in the “time to market” (the period from the design of the product to its arrival in stores) by around 50%, with 32 weeks, starting in November 2021, the completion of logistics outsourcing in the fourth quarter and the introduction of sourcing “for a short-term response to market developments.”
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