// Dr Martens Q1 sales up 31% on 2019, and 52% on 2020, driven by 11% rise in ecommerce sales
// Footwear retailer says this is ahead of expectations but warns of stronger comparisons in Q2
Dr Martens has revealed that trading was slightly ahead of expectations in its first quarter, as the footwear sales recover from the Covid-19 pandemic.
The retailer, which listed on the stock market earlier this year, recorded quarterly revenues of £147.3 million, a 52 per cent year-on-year rise, and a 31 per cent rise in the same quarter in 2019 before the pandemic.
Dr Martens said that throughout the first quarter, all of its US stores were open, while UK stores opened from mid-April and mainland European stores opened steadily throughout May and June.
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It added that its Japanese market was the most impacted by Covid-19, with stores operating with varying capacity restrictions and a few locations still closed.
Overall, it’s a marked improvement on last year when the vast majority of Dr Martens’ stores globally were closed or subject to significant pandemic-related restrictions.
As a result of the lifting of lockdowns during its first quarter this year, physical store sales more than tripled year-on-year.
However, compared to 2019 levels, in-store revenue for the quarter was down six per cent.
Meanwhile, Dr Martens ecommerce revenue grew 11 per for the quarter, which it highlighted was against a very high comparison in the same period last year when online sales amid the lockdowns.
The footwear retailer said trading in its first quarter was slightly ahead of its expectations, with a strong end to the period.
It also highlighted how its first quarter was usually its smallest quarter in terms of revenue, and that the second quarter will see it up against stronger comparisons.
Dr Martens added that it expects the trading pattern for the rest of the year to be non-linear and, like many others across retail, it is experiencing inbound shipping delays and other operational challenges due to Covid-19.
“I am very pleased with the performance across our business in the first quarter of our new financial year,” chief executive Kenny Wilson said.
“We achieved continued growth in ecommerce against a triple-digit growth rate last year and the reopening of our own-stores drove a strong retail recovery through the period. In addition, we saw a return to more normalised wholesale shipments over the period.
“The first quarter of the year is always our smallest period, being the end of the spring/summer season. Our larger autumn/winter season begins from Q2 and our performance to date gives us confidence for the remainder of the year.
“We will continue to take a long-term custodian mindset, investing into our business and making decisions to drive the brand for the decades to come.”