Smiggle owner to expand e-commerce presence in NZ

smiggleSmiggle, Just Jeans, Portmans and Jacqui E are expanding their digital footprints in New Zealand, with local transactional websites set to launch in the second half of FY19.

The news was announced by the brands’ parent company, ASX-listed Premier Investments, last Thursday, in a presentation of its first-half results.

Premier Investments is the sole owner of the Just Group, which also includes the Jay Jays, Dotti and Peter Alexander chains.

The company announced record earnings before interest and tax of A$113.9 million in the first half of FY19, up 11.1 per cent on underlying total sales of A$680.2 million. Net profit after tax was A$88.8 million in the half, up 13 per cent on the previous corresponding period.

The strong result was driven by record global sales in the Smiggle brand, record sales at Peter Alexander and record sales across all its online divisions.

In addition to the launch of local transactional sites in New Zealand, Premier is also expanding its Smiggle business into 10 new markets. It plans to launch Smiggle in France, Italy, Germany and Spain between April and July through a partnership with Amazon Europe, and enter Thailand, Indonesia, the Philippines and the United Arab Emirates through wholesale agreements by July.

The kids’ stationery brand aims to be in Canada on a wholesale basis by late 2019, which would give it entry into a “key North American market”, and is in talks with Alibaba to go into other countries where it doesn’t currently operate.

Premier has previously launched local sites for Dotti and Peter Alexander in New Zealand, and on Thursday it said those sites are seeing rapid growth, despite the overall challenging conditions in Australia and New Zealand.

The company grew online sales across brands by 35.2 per cent in the half to A$75.7 million. The online business contributed 12.9 per cent of the sales in countries and brands with a transactional website, and its EBIT margin is significantly higher than the group average.

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