Supergroup, owners of Superdry the street wear label, this week again proved to be a superhero of grand proportions on high street. On Wednesday the retailer reported their sales and announced an increase of 48% since last April with pre-tax profits at £50m and analysts have the shares labelled as an attractive buy.
Even though the public no longer craves those Thornton chocolates or Habitat’s bedside lamps, their appetite is still high and growing daily for the faux sporty clothes of Superdry. They were formed in 2003 and Julian Dunkerton, the owner of Supergroup, previously owned a brand known as Cult Clothing that sold skater-style vintage looking clothing and T-shirts with logos in cities like Oxford, Cheltenham, Edinburgh and Birmingham to students.
One label Cult had in its inventory was Bench, a brand for skaters recognised by its T-shirts and hoodies. When James Holder the founder and designer of Bench left, Dunkerton met with him and Superdry was formed.
From that point on the label has, on a regular basis, outperformed all competition. Last year they opened 18 new stores in the UK and now have 60 in all. Whilst abroad another 44 franchised units opened just last year to make 80 in total.
It is most often worn by celebrities like David Beckham, Helen Christensen, Justin Bieber and Ben Stiller just to name a very few. What is amazing is the brand is a sartorial phenomenon and yet it is below the radar of everyone.
It is hard to put a finger on the appeal of Superdry. It does not fit into a clear cut category of fashion as other labels on the high street can. ‘Cos’ is for fashion nerds and ‘Zara’ is trends from the catwalk at high street prices. The brand is sporty yet appeals to those who may like the thought of snowboarding but would never go.
If has both Japanese and American fonts yet their corporate offices are in Cheltenham. It falls in line on the rack with a Jack Wills, Abercrombie, Gap or Uniglo yet it beats all of them to the cash register. It can be taken apart but hard to blend it all back together because if it were so easy, other would do the same.