D2C (direct to consumer) is becoming an ever more important channel to market for brands and the pandemic increased the urgency to sell direct to the consumer whilst retail outlets were closed for months on end. British shoe manufacturer Dr. Martens is one riding the D2C trend and it’s paying massive dividends with record sales over the peak period running to to Christmas 2021.
Group Revenues at Dr. Martens was up 11% year on year for their third quarter (to 31st Decemeber 2021), with very strong D2C revenue growth of 33%. A planned prioritisation of inventory into D2C, due to the impact of Covid on both manufacturing and global shipping, led to a lower performance of wholesale but this didn’t impact their overall record quarter.
Ecommerce remained strong with revenue growth of 16%. Q3 retail revenue accelerated on the prior quarters, up 72% year-on-year (up 16% LY-1) with strong in-store conversion and improved footfall. The emergence of the Omicron Covid variant curtailed the improving trends through December, with increased trading restrictions, although these were fewer than the previous year.
D2C isn’t detracting from Dr. Martens commitment to bricks and mortar retail, with 11 new own stores opened in Q3, including 2 stores in Italy (in Verona and Milan) and 4 stores in USA. At the end of Q3 Dr. Martens had 158 own stores globally, having opened 24 so far this financial year.
We delivered a good performance during our largest quarter, with Direct to Consumer revenues growing 33% versus Q3 last year to 64% revenue mix. We continued to put our long-term custodian approach at the heart of decision making and proactively managed the business against a changing Covid backdrop, prioritising the higher margin Direct to Consumer channels in line with our strategy. We remain confident in achieving market expectations for the full year and I would like to thank everyone at Dr. Martens for their exceptional hard work and dedication
– Kenny Wilson, CEO, Dr. Martens