Hush is pandemic winner as loungewear sales soar
Fashion brand Hush had a good year to March with the company seeing sales rising 23% to almost £58 million, from £47.3 million in the previous year. And in the first half of the current financial period, revenue is up another 20% year-on-year.
The start of the 12 months to March 2021 coincided with the beginning of the first UK lockdown and the period as a whole took in three national lockdowns in total. That certainly benefited the firm’s luxury loungewear.
The company said its online sales rose by 43% across the financial year and currently make up 95% of its total sales, up from 81% previously. Sales through physical location — such as its 37 John Lewis concessions and its pop-ups — were, of course, hurt by non-essential store closures. That said, sales through those concessions have stayed buoyant since stores reopened in April.
This suggests that consumers are still buying into the comfort lifestyle trend via loungewear, even though life was getting almost back to normal pre-Omicron.
Hush’s online focus and the categories it sells helped it to become one of the pandemic winners with operating profit rising 169% to £11.4 million as sales were up while marketing and retail costs fell.
The company’s active customer based rose by a quarter during the year as it made good use of social media platforms such as Instagram to reach locked-down and Covid-cautious consumers.
CEO Kate Bartman (who took the post last year after previously being commercial director) said the business has more than trebled in size over the past four years.
The 18-year-old digital-first retailer was set up by Australian Mandy Watkins and her husband Rupert Youngman from their UK home. Watkins, who previously worked for Adidas, had the idea as she needed comfy-but-attractive clothes to change into after work.
A majority stake in the firm was sold to private equity company True Global last year.
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