Simply Be, the plus-size apparel title owned by UK-based N Brown Group, delivered a 500 percent sales growth in the US in the 53 weeks to 3rd March 2012. Sales from Simply Be USA were £4.8 million ($7.8 million), up from just £800,000 the previous year. Simply Be launched its catalogue and website across the Atlantic in summer 2010.
In Germany, where Simply Be has been operational since 2009, the business saw a deliberately slower growth as the company cut back on customer recruitment to focus on reducing the returns rate. The returns rate in Germany now stands at 60 percent, down 1 percentage point from last year.
In total, Simply Be generated £8.4 million ($13.6 million) in international sales in the last fiscal year, incurring losses of £4.8 million ($7.8 million).
To further grow its overseas business, N Brown has announced it will trial its Marisota womenswear and Jacamo menswear offerings in the USA—initially through the Simply Be website. It has also appointed local digital agencies to accelerate online customer recruitment activity.
At fellow apparel etailer Asos, online sales continue to outperform UK revenues. For the year ended 31st March, retail sales were up 49 percent to £481.6 million, with international sales doubling to £283.7 million in the year ending 31st March 2012. During the year Asos launched new websites in Spain, Italy and Australia.
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