Fashion retailer REVOLVE pivots during global pandemic


REVOLVE, the next-generation fashion retailer for Millennial and Generation Z consumers, has released a record breaking third-quarter gross margin of 55.3%.

During a global pandemic, in which many other retail brands have closed their doors for good, this achievement across the online platform highlights the brand’s ability to successfully pivot during even the toughest of times. In the third quarter of 2020, the retailer’s net income reached $19 million, up 103%year-over-year, with key categories such as beauty and at home seeing a steady increase in strength.  

Beauty in particular has been a stand out category for REVOLVE, with sales increasing by more than 100% YOY during 2020. With many beauty consumers looking to influencers for product inspiration, REVOLVE’s ever growing global network of influencers has supported this surge in sales across the category.

During the third quarter REVOLVE also saw an increase of 18% in international sales, with consumers logging on from across the globe looking for inspirational clothing and accessories across a diverse range of price points and brands. Key markets which grew month on month were Western Europe, Canada and Australia. Revolve invested $10 million in one centralised fulfilment centre, including automation, in 2019, and it paid off during the pandemic when many competitors saw shipping delays or had to temporarily close warehouses.

Key points that REVOLVE identified and adjusted to suit the current climate in order to support this success were;

  • Strict inventory controls
  • Faster turnover
  • Fewer returns
  • A centralised fulfilment centre  

REVOLVE said it continues to focus on building the brand as the fashion destination for the next generation consumer, and even during this unique and challenging time customers continue to come to the site looking for discovery and inspiration. The retail destination said it continues to provide a broad, curated assortment of the most on trend merchandise to suit the REVOLVE woman’s lifestyle, whether that is social occasions, an active lifestyle or staying at home.

REVOLVE, VP of International, Kai Li, said: “As sales of dresses became depressed during the pandemic, our buyers quickly pivoted to beauty products, activewear, and home goods where we had seen increasing demand through the third quarter ended September 30, 2020. Our new beauty products really resonated with customers and our beauty sales grew in triple digits year-over-year in the second and third quarters of 2020. Regionally, Middle Eastern markets Australia, Canada, and the UK were particularly strong. On the category level, skincare and hair care products were the highest growth categories.”