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City Chic’s online focus pays off in FY21

Plus-size fashion firm City Chic has enjoyed the consumer-led switch to online retail, with 73 per cent of its FY21 total sales of $258.5 million coming through its online.

The business’ global active customer base, now spread across Australia, New Zealand, the US, UK, and European markets, hit one million for the first time this year, driving an underlying net profit growth of 80.6 per cent to $24.9 million.

“Our strategic vision to lead a world of curves has taken a huge step in the last twelve months, despite the impacts of the pandemic,” said City Chic chief executive officer Phil Ryan.

“Our razor-sharp focus on the three pillars of plus-size, digital and global customer acquisition have again delivered strong results.”

In Australia and New Zealand, the business saw topline sales growth of 27.1 per cent to $144.5 million, and is currently working on transitioning a number of its stores to new fit-outs, while 14 holdover sites are currently permanently closed with no rent deals reached with landlords.

The business’ US e-commerce sites, Avenue, City Chic and Hips and Curves, contributed $94 million of sales to the business this year, though the business had to pay higher logistics costs due to temporary freight surcharges in the first half.

City Chic also made a number of acquisitions throughout the year, namely the Evans brand in the UK and the Navabi brand in Europe. Both businesses are now trading above pre-acquisition levels, as the regions continue to move toward a ‘normal’ trading environment.

And, in an effort to further penetrate the US market, City Chic’s products will soon be available on a number of online marketplaces: eBay and The Iconic in Australia, Walmart, Amazon and Target in the US, Debenhams, Amazon and Very in the UK, and Zalando in Germany.

“Heading into FY22 City Chic is focused on the strategy of delivering its significant product range to the global plus-sized market through its global digital and physical storefronts,” the business said.

Part of this strategy will see the Evans and Avenue brands brought to Australia to cater to a more ‘conservative value’ product opportunity, as well as further expand into marketplaces across the regions as the year goes on.

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