Superdry chief executive Euan Sutherland has outlined ambitious aims to expand its Sport range, and go head to head with the likes of Nike and Adidas.
The brand is pushing ahead with plans to launch standalone stores for Superdry Sport after posting a positive set of full-year results. It also plans to open shop-in-shops, franchise stores and “an extended online presence” for the range.
Sutherland told Drapers: “The market for our sports brand is growing faster than the main-line market, so there were strong drivers for the move. The range will be affordably priced – we are targeting the entry- to mid-level of competition like Nike and Adidas.”
Since the Sport range launched 18 months ago, the group has been adding technical changes every season. It has recruited around six specialists during the past year to develop its garments.
The first store will open in Grenoble in October. The company plans to roll out up to four stores by Christmas this year, before a wider rollout in 2018.
Sutherland said: “We prefer franchise [formats], as they are speedier and easier to manage. We had a lot of support from our wholesale partners to try the standalone stores out.”
The comments came as the UK retailer reported underlying profit growth of 18.4% to £87m for the 52 weeks to 29 April. Revenue was up 27.4% to £752m, driven by a 35% growth in ecommerce sales and 43.2% spike in wholesale revenue.
Sutherland attributed the growth to product innovation and investment in infrastructure, adding: “Our key priority will be to continue the strategy we laid out, and continue moving towards markets in Europe, the US and Asia.”
On the uncertainties created by Brexit, he said: “There will always be issues in the market – there hasn’t been a year where there hasn’t been any, whether it’s Brexit or beyond. We’ve got to continue to innovate and deliver our plan, and control what we can.
“For us, moving into new markets is key. The UK now accounts for less than half of our sales and profits.”
Superdry increased its total number of stores by 80 to 555 during the year, including seven new stores in the US and eight stores in China, three of which are franchised.