Dr Martens store network to double

The global Dr Martens store network is set to double, despite lower revenue and profits in its latest trading year.

Owned by European private-equity firm Permira, Dr Martens saw its revenue and profits drop as it closed wholesale accounts and invested in stores and online capacity. However, its revenues in Asia rose 19 per cent.

That in part is inspiring the brand to mount an aggressive expansion strategy not only in Asia but worldwide.

The company says its total revenue fell 4 per cent to £232.4 million (US$291.6 million) after it closed several “non-strategic” wholesale accounts to refocus its wholesale and export channels. Those wholesale cuts added up to as many as 250 accounts, resulting in a 14 per cent reduction in wholesale revenues to £160.2 million.

Earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) in the year to March 31 fell to £29.6 million from £39.1 million the previous year. This is attributed to “significant” investment in product, new stores and online capability”, while the company has seen “excellent performance” in key growth areas, such as a 24 per cent rise in direct-to-consumer revenue to reach £72.2 million, plus 25 per cent growth in retail sales to £51.2 million, with comparable sales up 5 per cent.

Its eCommerce sales grew 20 per cent to £21 million, while in Asia there was 19 per cent growth to £46.3 million.
During the year Dr Martens opened 11 stores and nine concessions, while online sales reached 9 per cent of total revenue. By year-end, its store base was 100 (including 44 concessions), and it plans to double that by 2021.

The company says that 30 per cent of its sales now come from new product, compared to 14 per cent a year ago, while 79 per cent of sales come from outside the UK. With its international growth, it has set up regional president roles for the Americas, EMEA and Asia, plus global heads of product, IT, logistics, legal and eCommerce.

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