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Boohoo struggles amid sales decline, but investor confidence persists

By Don-Alvin Adegeest


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Image: Boohoo

Boohoo, the fast fashion retailer, has encountered a challenging start to 2023, with sales experiencing a double-digit decline and adjusted Ebitda being reduced by half. The company reported losses amounting to 90.7 million pounds for the fiscal year ending February 2022, attributing the setback to elevated operating costs and surplus inventory. The prevailing sluggish sales and diminished profit margins are anticipated to persist until the autumn season.

Nevertheless, investors remain optimistic about the potential for Boohoo and its subsidiary, PrettyLittleThing, to rebound, as evidenced by a 15.6 percent increase in shares. CEO John Lyttle has unveiled a comprehensive strategy aimed at cost reduction, mitigating return rates, and streamlining operations, which may entail workforce downsizing.

Despite a 10 percent decline in shoppers, Boohoo noted a 29 percent surge in website visitors compared to pre-pandemic levels, indicating sustained interest in online shopping, particularly among the Gen Z demographic. This trend is projected to further intensify going forward.

Last week Boohoo's competitor, Asos, disclosed a similar downward trend, stating it suffered an 8 percent reduction in shoppers, attributing the decline to decreased expenditure on non-essential items. Consequently, Asos found itself in the red, with losses reaching 291 million pounds.