Fashion retailer SuperGroup has unveiled plans to launch a chain of standalone sportswear stores as it looks to cash in on the lucrative fitness market.
The company, which is behind the Superdry brand, will open a raft of Superdry Sport standalone stores in a move aimed at accelerating its “global lifestyle” strategy.
SuperGroup has made further significant progress this yearEuan Sutherland
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The first Superdry Sport standalone franchise will be in Grenoble, opening in October, and the group plans to roll out up to four more stores by Christmas before a wider round of openings next year.
The firm pointed to its two largest markets, the UK and Germany, for sport, worth some $9.4 billion (£7.2bn) and $11.2bn respectively.
The world’s largest market for sportswear is the US, one of SuperGroup’s “development markets”, at $103.6bn currently.
Scots-born chief executive Euan Sutherland said the expansion will come in the guise of “shops in shops, franchise outlets and an extended online presence”.
The group made the announcement alongside full-year results, which saw it report a 53.1 per cent rise in pre-tax profits to £84.8 million for the 52 weeks to 29 April while sales rose 27.4 per cent on a comparable 52-week basis to £752m. Like-for-like retail sales grew by 12.7 per cent.
The firm had been forced to rush out a summary of its full-year results to the stock exchange on Thursday following “a random theft from an employee”. It took action after discovering that an “external party” may have seen a draft of its preliminary results. The group had been due to publish its full-year results this coming Thursday, but decided to release an unaudited version of the headline figures following the incident.
Shareholders are set to pocket a full-year ordinary dividend of 28p per share, an increase of 20.7 per cent on the year before.
Sutherland said: “SuperGroup has made further significant progress this year, delivering growth in sales, profit and the ordinary dividend as we maintained momentum against all elements of our strategy.
“Our focus on delivering long-term sustainable growth continues, through a multi-channel approach that balances a disciplined owned and franchised store opening programme with further development of our re-engineered wholesale channel and strong e-commerce proposition.”
On Brexit, Sutherland said he had not seen any slowdown in consumer confidence in the UK.
He added: “The economic environment has been tough and the political backdrop uncertain. The Brexit vote and fluctuating exchange rates have had the most significant direct impact.
“The Superdry brand has proved resilient while the increased exposure of the business to different countries, markets and currencies has been important in providing some insulation from that impact.”
SuperGroup has a presence in 62 countries, with 863 stores and concessions globally.
In its results it noted that North America had achieved full-year break-even, with seven new stores opened. Two new distribution centres are operating – US and Belgium.