LONDON, United Kingdom — British Athleisure retailer Sweaty Betty has opened its first store in Asia following a leap in sales in the UK.
The brand, which saw an 18 percent rise in turnover to £56.6 million in 2018, now has more than 60 shops across the UK, US and Hong Kong.
Speaking to The Evening Standard, Chief executive Julia Straus said: “We are mindful of economic and political uncertainty, but shoppers don’t seem to be holding back on fitness-related spending.”
She added: “We see ongoing growth potential in the activewear sector as people increasingly concentrate on health and wellbeing.”
According to Straus, who was promoted to her current role in June, during the first half of this year Sweaty Betty sold one pair of its premium £75-£95 bum-sculpting leggings every minute. The brand has also fuelled growth via a partnership with Nordstrom, which saw it open 25 ‘shop-in-shops’ in the US department store, earlier this year.
Asia is now a firm focus, says Straus, as is the firm’s online business. In 2018 the retailer relaunched its website as part of a wider project to improve the multichannel customer experience.
The site, which receives more than a million visits a month, now offers “an enhanced user experience”, providing a quicker shopping experience, more educational guides, a shoppable Instagram page and an enhanced lookbook feature.
“We launched our first website in 2000 to provide an omnichannel customer experience alongside our stores. Our customer now uses mobile devices in so many areas of her life, so this upgrade of our site comes at a critical time,” said Sweaty Betty CEO Simon Hill-Norton at the time.
“E-commerce represents a vital and growing part of our business – not only in terms of online sales but, as an omni-channel retailer in terms of better understanding and supporting our customer. We want to ensure they have the same positive experience when engaging with us, no matter when and how they shop.”