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SuperGroup reports 40% growth in online sales

SuperGroup has reported a 40% increase in online sales after replatforming its website last autumn.

The fashion retailer upgraded its website late last year and has since reported significant growth in its eCommerce operations. Online sales now represent 18.2% of total retail sales.

CEO Euan Sutherland told Essential Retail: "We did a lot of investment in IT over the last couple of years and we're now leveraging that."

The retailer implemented new merchandising and distribution systems into its business, which Sutherland said are "working well", and SuperGroup now plans to continue its IT investment into new geographies.

Last month, the retailer revealed its plans to work with IT solutions provider Wincor Nixdorf to grow its international operations. The vendor will provide tech support for its UK, European and future international stores.

Sutherland said SuperGroup's online growth was also continuing into its new financial year. Today (Thursday), the retailer reported total profit before tax was up 2% to £63.2 million for its 12 months ending 25 April 2015, while revenues increased 12.9% to £486.6 million.

Click & collect

In early 2015 SuperGroup also implemented a click & collect service called Superdry Collect which allows customers to order up until 10pm and collect from noon the next day in any of its UK stores.

Superdry Collect is complemented by iKiosk – an in-store ordering system using an iPad Mini with an integrated chip and pin device.

Sutherland described the iKiosk and Superdry Collect as supporting pillars to the company's eCommerce platform and there are plans to roll this out to more stores globally this year.

"Ecommerce growth is very strong for us, we introduced the new iKiosk into the UK stores last year which is particularly important for smaller stores because you have a window into the full Superdry range," Sutherland said. "We've seen a good uplift and real readiness for customers to shop in that way in store."

Click & collect adoption is growing, but currently only amounts to 10-15% of online orders which the retailer called a "minority" of its eCommerce activity. The service is free of charge, and when asked if the retailer would start charging, in the wake of John Lewis' decision to charge customers for click & collect, CFO Nick Wharton said SuperGroup would not need to.

"We do deliveries to our stores everyday anyway to keep them fresh and fully stocked, so for us it's a relatively easy process to add a specific customer's order on top of that," he explained.

Sutherland added: "If our customer wants to shop – be it offline, online, home delivery, delivery to stores – we want to make our systems as easy as possible so we can do it. We have a very open mind in the way we deliver products to customers and we want to be totally flexible."