Following the release of The White Company figures for FY2019/20; Georgina Sreeves, retail analyst at GlobalData, a leading data and analytics company, offers her view: “The White Company is a clear beneficiary of heightened demand for home products amid the pandemic as sales in its FY2019/20 rose 4% (on a comparable 52-week basis) to £226.3m. The retailer has much to be smug about as operating profit grew on FY2018/19 (which was a 70-week year) despite disruption caused by COVID-19. The White Company’s fortunes are largely owed to its strong online proposition; the retailer claims that unprecedented online demand offset a large proportion of lost store sales during the final five months of the financial year. It also claims that trading has been “positive” in FY2020/21 so far despite two further national lockdowns.
“The White Company has taken a cautious approach to physical expansion, opening two new stores and two new concessions in the UK during FY2019/20, bringing its total UK estate to 50 stores and 11 concessions. The clothing and homeware specialist is equally judicious about its international stores, having closed one of its two stores in the US in FY2019/20. It continues to trade from its two stores in Ireland, as well as through European websites and a wholesale arrangement with US company Nordstrom Inc. Plans to expand internationally should begin online or through wholesale agreements with large retailers to keep operational costs low and to gauge demand, particularly as the pandemic situation remains volatile.”