Cotton Traders reports record turnover

Cotton Traders reports record turnover

Cotton Traders has experienced its most successful financial year to date (y/e 31 December 2022), with a 10.6 per cent year-on-year increase in its turnover which reached £111 million.

Amongst other factors, the company credits its improved performance on a combination of new customer acquisition with a 17 per cent year-on-year increase, and an increase in active customer retention at 7.5 per cent.

Both have contributed to an improved EBITDA which has increased by 3 per cent to £12.6 million from the previous year of trading, with 79 per cent of total sales coming from direct channels and 21 per cent coming from Cotton Traders’ store portfolio.

The business has seen a significant shift in its digital performance, with online sales up by 16.6 per cent and purchases via the Cotton Traders app increasing by 46 per cent year-on-year. This was driven by recruitment of new customers in these channels, but also changes to customer behaviour and the switch of existing customers to these channels – thus reflecting the continued popularity of online shopping in the UK.

Of note, the business is bringing in a younger, more digitally savvy customer base, with the average new customer age now at 56 years old – the brand’s social media activity has secured a 129 per cent increase in new customer acquisition against the previous year.

Cotton Traders’ CEO, Nick Hamblin comments: “Over Cotton Traders’ decades of trading, the brand has built long established relationships with its customers based on product quality, service, and trust. It’s hugely reassuring that this reputation is now extending to record numbers of new, younger customers, who we hope will be the foundation of our business for many years to come.”

The business, which prides itself on a 50/50 gender split on its board, has made notable investments in its operations, brand building, performance marketing and diversifying its product range in the past year, all of which have contributed to the strong trading period.

Cotton Traders has invested in its head office and logistics operations to ensure high levels of customer service remain from the point of purchase through to delivery. The refurbishment of 16 stores, new staff training and the ongoing installation of digital point-of-sale throughout the 77-store estate have also helped to secure a 47 per cent increase in new store customers compared to 2021.

Alongside this, broadening the brand’s high-quality affordable product range has also been a key driver for sustaining growth and driving incremental basket spend. Particularly, the retailer has expanded its knitwear, dresses, swimwear, underwear and nightwear ranges following demand in these areas from the brand’s predominantly 70 per cent female audience.

Increased TV advertising and digitally orientated marketing activity, in addition to new celebrity brand ambassadors, including TV actor and personality Will Mellor and TV presenter and model Lisa Snowdon, has successfully elevated Cotton Traders’ awareness and relevancy with prospective customers and spontaneous brand awareness currently stands at 94 per cent. Web sessions have also increased by 17 per cent, showing the success of its brand-building and traffic driving campaigns.

Cotton Traders’ CEO Nick Hamblin continues: “2022 saw the brand operating and performing with great consistency, which is not an easy task in what remains a tough retail environment. Brand reputation plays a huge part in purchase decisions, and we’ve invested in the right areas at the right time to enhance all our customer touchpoints.”


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