ESW books stellar growth on the back of boom in direct to consumer e-commerce

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ESW, the global DTC (Direct-To-Consumer) ecommerce leader, has announced that it will recruit 500 more staff as its revenues are set to reach $1.5 billion this year. The company predicts headcount will rise to over 1,100 and revenue to $5 bn within 3-5 years, with growth this year coming on the back of more than 20 new global brand partners, including Gucci, Kering, EBEL, Olivia Burton, The Irish Store, Rossignol, Abercrombie & Fitch and J.Crew.  

ESW is the preferred ecommerce solution partner chosen by leading global brands across apparel, footwear, leisure, cosmetics, accessories and luxury items to manage their direct-to-consumer channel. 

Growth will be driven by strong momentum organically in growing markets as well as planned bolt-on acquisitions, as the world continues to make a strong and sustained structural shift to ecommerce. 

Scalability will be supported by continuing investment in sustainability, R&D, data analytics and technology development; by the addition of over 500 new roles within the next three years, and by an expanding office presence in New York, Singapore, France, Italy, the UK and Germany. 

Tommy Kelly, chief executive, ESW, said: “I could not be more proud of our team at ESW in the last few years and indeed throughout COVID. We have successfully recruited and onboarded over 200 additional roles with most of our colleagues having moved to remote working. Following another year of strong growth we expect to achieve sales of close to $1.5 billion in 2021, a c. 20-fold increase over the past five years.” 

ESW will be putting specialist focus on solutions that address specific needs in the Apparel & Accessories, Beauty and Cosmetics and Luxury categories. In addition, the product portfolio has been diversified to meet a wider range of market requirements, and now includes Fluency Express, a fast and light integration with essential international e-commerce features; Fluency Enterprise to help large brands achieve deep localisation and execute on their global strategy; Symphony, which is a complete enterprise DTC solution from the design and build of brands’ online store to the day-to-day management of the trading environment; and Velocity which delivers country-by-country shopper experience and performance marketing services to maximize the DTC opportunity. 

To support this expanded portfolio and strong growth in both the UK and France, ESW has announced a raft of new senior appointments. Noelle Burke has been named chief people officer and brings more than 20 years of senior management roles for multinational corporations including Hewlett-Packard, Microsoft, and RSA. Natashia Redfern has been appointed director of sales UK and comes from a strong logistics e-commerce background. As part of the new team being built in France, ESW has appointed Thomas Rouland and Jerome Duclos as sales directors in this region, with deep industry experience and knowledge in checkout and payments respectively. 

Commenting on this announcement, Kelly added, “Our solutions have enabled many of the world’s leading brands and retailers to accelerate growth and to meet consumer demand despite lockdowns and restrictions. That resilience, together with the speed and agility with which we can provide growth-seeking brands with a global online market presence has driven a step change in our growth projections. Those projections are ambitious but achievable. In delivering that growth we are collaborating extensively with our brand partners to ensure we grow in an environmentally sustainable manner.” 

Post year end (in March 2021), Asendia, the joint venture between La Poste Group and Swiss Post, acquired full ownership of ESW. It had previously owned 50.1% of the business. ESW continues to operate as a stand-alone entity and has accelerated its medium-term growth targets due to the scalability of its technology and solutions and its ability to drive incremental sales for premium brands, typically outside their home markets. 

In addition to acquiring full ownership of ESW in 2021, the Group has also invested over €1 billion in complementary acquisitions, including stakes in Aramex, Ninja Van, SwissSign Group and Anchanto (a market leader in e-commerce technology in Asia). These acquisitions further strengthen its position as a leader for international e-commerce solutions.