Asos deifies Covid’s gloom as sales soar 36%, with Just Eat and Lidl following suit
- Asos’s revenue increased 24% to £ 1.36 billion in the four months to December 31
- It has focused on pajamas and T-shirts with customers forced to stay at home
- While takeout orders soared, Just Eat orders were up 58%
- In the supermarket sector, Lidl braved gloom as customers increased sales by 18%
Digital Demand: Asos sales were up 36 percent despite shoppers dropping trendy dresses in lockdown
The latest lockdown has ended some of the UK’s best-loved retail outlets, but it has been a blessing in disguise for others.
While traditional retailers like Marks & Spencer that rely on customers leaving home have struggled, more nimble and digitally focused rivals have thrived.
The gap was underscored when online fashion retailer Asos, food delivery company Just Eat Takeaway and supermarket upstart Lidl revealed the results for the Christmas season.
Asos led the charge when customers flocked to its trendy website on their phones, leading to a 24 percent increase in sales to £ 1.36 billion in the four months to December 31. In the UK, sales increased 36 percent to £ 554.1 million. It expects more of the same in 2021 and is raising earnings expectations. Many in town had expected Asos to take a hit as Christmas is traditional when young women buy cocktail dresses and strappy heels.
Instead, it focused on pajamas and T-shirts, which were in high demand as customers were forced to stay at home.
Richard Lim of Retail Economics said: “These are hugely impressive results in an extremely difficult part of the market. Lockdowns, fewer opportunities for social mixing, and canceled Christmas parties have decimated the demand for new outfits. “But what consumers did spend was focused on casual wear and the retailer was well positioned to take advantage of this.”
Another winner was Just Eat as takeout orders increased. The company has a presence across Europe, but it was the UK company that performed best, up 58 percent in the fourth quarter.
Food delivery groups were a clear winner during the pandemic as restrictions prevented restaurants, pubs and cafes from serving food on site. Analysts said Just Eat stocks, up 20 percent over the past year, could push even higher.
Neil Wilson, an analyst at Markets, said: “ I still think people will go back to the pub and restaurants, but many, especially older consumers, now have the confidence to order takeaways through apps that would never have happened without the pandemic. . These companies have done well because ordering takeout is actually an expensive way to eat. ‘
ANOTHER VICTOR …
Brompton Bicycles rents like ‘crazy’ after the pandemic caused a surge in demand for its folding bikes. Sales soared as people spent more time at home during lockdowns and families were more active outside. With retailers like Halfords reporting a boom, Will ButlerAdams, Brompton’s boss, said it had decided to expand by hiring 100 staff to bolster its 500 workforce.
In the supermarket sector, Lidl defied the gloom as customers increased sales by 18 percent. Other companies that achieved impressive results included the online fashion company Sosandar and the trendy leggings seller Sweaty Betty.
Sales at Sosandar, started by former fashion magazine editors Julie Lavington and Ali Hall in 2005, were up 6 percent, boosted by celebs like Amanda Holden wearing his ‘Sandy from Grease’ style leather pants.
Sweaty Betty said those exercising outside flocked to buy £ 85 ‘bum-sculpting’ leggings with a reflective print to help them be seen when running in low light. Chief executive Julia Straus said, “The world has been turned upside down and we have focused on supporting our customers.”