Multi title mailer N Brown Group will introduce its plus-size
womenswear catalogue Simply Be to a German audience next spring.
Chief executive Alan White told Catalogue/e-business
that the test in Germany “is designed to flush out the
challenges” that N Brown will face overseas “and most
importantly, [show] whether we can make any money”.
N Brown will fulfil the German orders from the UK, White said,
adding that there is still a lot of planning left to do before
Simply Be can launch overseas, “particularly on the
customer service side of the business”.
There are no plans to mail any of N Brown’s other titles
overseas. But the company, whose other brands include JD
Williams, Fashion World and Nightingales, is changing its order
processing and delivery systems so that its websites can begin
accepting orders from outside the UK next year. Currently,
customers trying to place orders from overseas are rejected
because the cataloguer cannot validate their address.
Back home, the sunny May weather that coincided with N Brown’s
summer catalogue mailings helped the company achieve a
12.3-percent year-on-year rise in turnover for the 17 weeks ended
28 June, slightly higher than the expected growth rate, according
to a statement. Menswear accounted for the fastest growth, and
home and leisure sales were strong too, helping to increase the
average order value by 5 per cent. Online sales increased 45
per cent in value and now represent 31 per cent of total sales.