Prioritising ‘at-home’ products quadruples sales for Spanish retailer during lockdown

Although COVID-19 has strongly affected Spain, Magic Outlet closed the month of May 2020 with a 441 per cent increase in sales compared to 2019. With diverse commercial offers and an increased customer and producer database, the Spanish marketplace achieved a surge of 321 per cent increase from April to May 2020 compared to the previous year.

Venca, the leading eCommerce fashion company in Spain, has also experienced similar results, with over 3 million monthly visits and over one million unique monthly users between Black Friday 2019 and the end of April 2020. April, in particular, had a 40 per cent increase in unique users (without a push on PPC activity) compared to April last year.

Jennifer Puzzo, head of client services at Kooomo spoke with Carmen Sánchez Osuna, Venca business development & partnership manager and Magic Outlet brand manager to discover how the organisation experienced, and resiliently overcame the COVID-19 emergency.

Carmen outlined how “Venca and Magic Outlet have made great efforts to adapt to the circumstances arising from COVID-19. From a move towards more entertaining communications (online games and “The Suitcase of Smiles”) to the rationalisation of our offerings that are more suitable and sought after right now. We have prioritised “At-home” products in particular, and we have highlighted and promoted categories dedicated to sport, home-care and entertainment. All this has been possible thanks to the strategy that the group undertook – we expanded the product catalogue to further diversify the range offer.”

Since last year, the brands have also acted as a marketplace in order to allow businesses to sell online – taking advantage of Venca’s database, know-how and logistical and technological infrastructure.

Both Venca and Magic Outlet had to rethink the original business plan that had been set for 2020. Carmen adds, “We adapted the commercial offer in line with the needs related to social restrictions. For Venca, it was simple, given it is currently an eCommerce store that offers a wide range of products in addition to fashion. For Magic Outlet, however, we decided to broaden the range of products and give greater visibility to categories that were not usually promoted such as home, home clothing and pyjamas.”

The Spanish online fashion business began to recover from the week of April 20 – when restrictions began to relax and consumers needed more outfits for outside the home. Organic traffic until mid-May reached Black Friday results, reaching + 40 per cent compared to previous months and exceeding + 130 per cent on Magic Outlet compared to the previous year.

Venca is one of the oldest eCommerce companies in Spain. The company started its business in 1979 by selling via catalogues. It gradually left that business behind in favour of online distribution, establishing its eCommerce store 1997. The company’s transformation accelerated since in January 2017 when the management team, led by Jordi González, purchased Venca from Otto Group.

Based in a 42,000 square metre logistics platform in Vilanova I la Geltrú (Barcelona), Venca now operates under the umbrella of the Digital Lola company. After deciding to abandon its historical catalogue and close its physical store in the centre of Barcelona, ​​the company reorganised its staff in September 2019, with a view to starting 2020 as a smart and mainly digital company.

Despite the lockdown, the company expects to end 2020 with slight growth compared to the previous year. This is down to accelerating the distribution of third-party brands who already have a database of roughly 50 partner companies. To date, the Spanish company concentrates its own brand activity, launching six collections each year, in addition to the monthly capsules of womenswear, menswear, childrenswear, plus sizes, lingerie, accessories and homeware.

Carmen concludes, “For a long time, Venca has followed a strategy of expanding and diversifying offers to be more relevant to ‘real’ women and their needs. Magic Outlet also benefits from all of this, which is where, especially in this lockdown period, the stock was liquidated. As for the future of Venca, our intention is to continue to diversify the offer, incorporating more products from other categories. We will continue to increase the size of its catalogue with new products and categories. Magic Outlet will continue to be the key element for liquidating products and generating opportunities for customers. In this way, we want to continue investing in real women and in their most loved environment, not only in fashion but also in accessories.”

Venca and Magic Outlet are great examples of retailers which have diversified in order to meet the changing needs of consumers during this unprecedented time and this has shown in the results it has achieved.

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