New Look remains buoyant as multichannel efforts prove fruitful

New Look has reported an increase in profits and sales for 52 weeks to 26 March 2016. The retailer's revenue increased 5.4% to £1.5 billion, while UK like-for-like sales increased 3.4%.

The retailer also reported an increase in profit before tax of 16.8% to £59.1 million, but also recorded a statutory loss before tax of £34.9 million, due to the Brait acquisition and bond refinancing.

eCommerce sales for New Look also improved, with own website sales increasing 27.9%, while third-party eCommerce sales increased 41.8%.

Anders Kristiansen, New Look's CEO, said: “The increase in our like-for-like sales reflects the strength of our multichannel proposition. Across all our channels – instore, online or via click-and-collect – we are ensuring that shopping with New Look is as seamless and convenient as possible."

The retailer said it continued to make improvements to its website and mobile app, as well as adding new delivery options such as next day click & collect. New Look is also currently upgrading its international web platforms to improve customer experience.

Nivindya Sharma, senior analyst at Verdict Retail, said: "A focus on brand and product development, and strategic investment in menswear and eCommerce, have all contributed to top line sales growth for value retailer New Look."

She said New Look as been focussing on improving its multichannel operations to "become top of mind for its young millennial customer base".

"Order in store now accounts for 8% of online orders, and New Look’s push to build greater awareness of this option will go some way to limit customer attrition to rivals Primark and H&M," she explained. "It has also capitalised effectively on its extensive store portfolio with 31% of all online orders now picked up instore, driving footfall and giving New Look an opportunity to cross-sell and drive impulse purchases."

According to Kristiansen, New Look also witnessed a "strong reaction" to its launch in China, with plans to open a further 50 stores in the region over the coming year. "Since the year end, we’ve opened seven more stores already, taking us to 92 altogether in this market," he said.

Sharma added: "After a slow burn, investments in China are finally starting to pay off with the brand reporting positive like-for-like sales growth. New Look’s aggressive store expansion in China (2016: 85 stores compared to 19 in 2015) and social media engagement initiatives on Weibo and WeChat will help the brand reach new consumers, making China a lucrative market."