Companies as diverse as Hermès Group, The North Face and Under Armour have reported disappointing financials in light of the ongoing coronavirus pandemic and understandably so; there’s really no way to come out of a global epidemic unscathed. Dr. Martens may be the sole exception, having enjoyed a booming 2019 financial year that includes data right up to the beginning of the pandemic.
In a statement, Dr. Martens’ chief executive, Kenny Wilson, outlined the company’s difficult Summer 2020, but explained that these results will be revealed in next year’s report. “Looking ahead, while we are currently in a volatile and uncertain trading environment, we have a very clear strategy in place supported by a strong brand and consumer connections, and I am confident in the outlook for the business,” he explained.
Meanwhile, the previous year’s financials, which ended on March 31, are extremely upbeat. This period saw Dr. Martens rake in a 48 percent boom in revenue, climbing to £672.2 million GBP (approximately $875 million USD). Strong double-digit growth across all regions, expanding direct-to-consumer channels and over a dozen new flagship stores aided in these positive results.
“We have delivered another year of exceptional growth at Dr. Martens driven by our consumer first strategy and continuous investment in the business,” Wilson explained. “Our performance is testament to the hard work and dedication of our teams and demonstrates the resilience and strength of our brand at a time of great uncertainty.”
After March 31, all Dr. Martens stores in EMEA, Japan and America were closed in light of COVID-19, but Hong Kong and South Korean outposts remained open along with third-party Chinese vendors. Resilient e-commerce further boosted Dr. Martens’ business during the pandemic. In fact, the company has begun to return the £1,000 GBP-per-person furlough bonus (approximately $1,255 USD) granted by the United Kingdom government to hard-hit businesses.
“We made sure we would have significant liquidity and could pay everyone, so when we saw positive sales continue we knew we had to repay that,” Wilson told the PA news agency. “So far this financial year, we have maintained growth as e-commerce has offset losses elsewhere. “Our strategy has been digital first and that obviously put us in a strong position to deal with closures.”
Wilson did not comment on whether the pandemic has offered initiative for Dr. Martens’ owner to seek its sale.