Superdry pins hopes on online Black Friday sales amid forced closures

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Superdry PLC (LON:SDRY) said it is focusing on maximising online revenues over the Black Friday trading period since several of its UK and international stores are closed amid lockdowns.

As of Thursday, 122 sites are now temporarily closed across England, Wales, France, Belgium and Ireland, with 117 shops still open and trading.

READ: Superdry appoints retail veteran as interim chief financial officer

The clothier, which had net cash of £22mln as of Tuesday, said it remains on track with a brand reset.

Margins are expected to remain under pressure during the remainder of the financial year after they were hit by promotional activity during the summer to clear excess stock.

in the 26 weeks to October 24, revenue dropped 23%, with the second and first quarter down 23% and 24% respectively.

Over the half-year, sales in store and wholesale tanked 45% and 29%, while the e-commerce channel jumped by 50%.

The hoodie designer said stores continue to be impacted by Covid-related measures suppressing footfall, particularly in large city-centre locations.

UK trade was partially offset by stronger performance in Europe, where footfall declines have been less severe.

Online sales continued to be strong, especially after the recent launch of the new Autumn/ Winter 2020 range and the targeted clearance of aged stock.

“Our forecasts were prudently set looking for -30% store revenues for the important Black Friday and Christmas period. Clearly the one-month lockdown will modestly impact this number, but we remain confident based on the previous lockdown that a significant channel shift will occur,” analysts at Liberum commented.

“Our gross margin assumptions which are -150bps for the full year may prove a little optimistic as we would expect a higher rate of promotional activity as a result of the new lockdown measures.”

Shares were flat at 165.4p on Thursday at the opening bell.

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