LONDON — The British online beauty retailer Feelunique.com is bucking the U.K.’s downbeat retail trend, and has disclosed a 63 percent increase in sales for the year ended March 31.
The Jersey-based retailer said today that its turnover rose 63 percent to 26.7 million pounds, or $42.5 million, in the year to March 31, while the firm recorded an EBITDA figure for the year of 1.98 million pounds, or $3.1 million. Dollar figures have been calculated at average exchange rates for the period.
Aaron Chatterley, chief executive and co-founder of the company, attributed the rise in sales to both the addition of “major brands” to the site during the year and improved customer service. The site currently carries skin care brands including Elemis, Elizabeth Arden and Clarins and makeup brands including Benefit, Shiseido and bareMinerals. Recently, the site added Agent Provocateur and Thierry Mugler fragrances.
Chatterley, who launched the site in 2005, also said that fragrance and cosmetics sales had been particularly strong, helped by marketing support from the site’s “key brands.” “This has been helped in no small part by our decision to move away from a largely price-led model in late 2010, and removing all gray market products from the site two years ago,” said Chatterley.
And in a further boost to the site’s content, earlier this year the firm appointed Newby Hands, formerly beauty director at U.K. Harper’s Bazaar, as editorial director of the site. Hands’ contributions will be evident on the site from early summer, Chatterley said. The executive noted that the firm is also increasing its media spend, and has recently launched a U.K. television campaign.
Chatterley added that the site is set to add a number of “prestigious” makeup and fragrance brands over the next month, and he is equally bullish on the outlook for the next fiscal year, during which he predicts sales will rise 76 percent to 46.8 million pounds, or $74.8 million at current exchange. “Although historically online penetration of beauty sales has lagged behind other sectors, there is an unquestionable change taking place now, with more and more women choosing to buy online,” Chatterley said.