// Weird Fish enjoyed 84% increase in ecommerce sales last year
// Store like-for-like sales grew 11% over the summer last year
// Weird Fish is now focusing on investing in digital and in-store experiences this year
Weird Fish is set to focus on digital investment and the development of its destination stores this year, after bucking lockdown retail trends with record sales in 2020.
The retailer saw an 84 per cent surge in ecommerce sales last year, driven by a 105 per cent increase in new customers.
During the brief period in summer when non-essential shops were allowed to open in between the first and second lockdowns last year, Weird Fish saw an overall 11 per cent increase in store like-for-like sales.
An exact sales or profit figure for the year was not disclosed.
Nonetheless, Weird Fish said sales spikes showed no signs of waning in 2021, with a 354 per cent uplift in ecommerce sales driven by the launch of new full price campaigns, and overall sales uplifts of 108 per cent in the first quarter despite stores being closed amidst the latest lockdown.
As part of its digital investment, Weird Fish introduced a new customer management platform, enhanced its website user experience, and upgraded its stores to allow customers to place online orders on site.
A new YouTube channel was also launched, with dedicated video brand awareness campaigns across Weird Fish’s social networks.
“We recognised the need to be agile throughout lockdown and continually adapt in line with changing market conditions, so decided to heavily invest in our digital channels and marketing throughout 2020,” Weird Fish customer director Ben Mercier said.
“A key element was developing a deeper understanding of our customers and their buying habits, so we committed to various new initiatives to help give us accurate insights and shape our marketing decisions.”
Weird Fish highlighted three key pillars to continue driving its growth in 2021: integrate digital technology into all areas of the business, make 80 per cent of its products sustainable by 2022, and introduce more new product ranges across all categories.
The success of retailer’s sustainable bamboo fabric ranges, launched last year, surpassed expectations and opened new avenues for further development into the growing athleisure sector.
Weird Fish managing director John Stockton said: “Our digital progression was turbo-charged during lockdown.
“The relaxed, easy-going lifestyle ranges we offer really found favour with existing loyal followers, as well as attracting many new customers.
“We expect that growth to continue as we add more new sustainable ranges in 2021.
“We also know shoppers still crave an in-store experience, as our stores saw an overall 11 per cent like-for-like sales uplift between July and August 2020.
“Holiday accommodation providers including Campsites.co.uk saw bookings and enquiries rise by as much as 300 per cent when the government’s roadmap was unveiled a few months ago, meaning more people will be flocking to staycation hotspots which host our stores.
“We look forward to reopening our destination stores and continuing to develop and improve that much missed in store experience.”
Following government advice, allowing non-essential retailers in England to re-open from April 12, Weird Fish confirmed that it would reopen all 18 of its stores on that date, complete with safety, hygienic and social distancing measures in place.