Belfast Telegraph

Profits and revenue soar as Dr Martens expands boot brand

Sole man: Dr Marten boots
Sole man: Dr Marten boots

By Alys Key

Sales of Dr Martens shoes and boots were higher last year as the British brand enlarged its global footprint and attracted new customers.

Revenue at the company was up 30% to £454.4m in the year to March 31.

Meanwhile, underlying earnings soared by 70% to £50m.

Growth was recorded across all channels, with retail revenue up 30% while e-commerce jumped 67%. Sales in stores were boosted by the opening of 20 new sites during the year, as well as strong like-for-like growth of 18%.

There is one Dr Martens store in Northern Ireland in Belfast's Corn Market.

Overall direct-to-consumer revenue was up 42% to £199.4m, while wholesale grew 23% to £255m.

Chief executive Kenny Wilson explained several factors had driven the company's growth during his first year in charge.

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"It's a great brand, we're taking it to more people and we've got a strategy that's working," he said.

"Is there a cultural moment? I think there's many interesting things happening around the world. It's a brand for independent free thinkers, and if you look at protest and rebellion for a brand that's about rebellion, there's a lot going on."

Mr Wilson said the firm's vegan range, which now accounts for around 4% to 5% of sales, is set to continue growing rapidly as more consumers ditch leather. However the core range has also maintained popularity, while new styles such as sandals and Chelsea boots have introduced new customers to the brand.

Earlier this year the business doubled down on its commitment to British manufacturing, investing in its Northampton facility to increase the amount of shoes made in the UK.

Mr Wilson said it was "full steam ahead" at the factory.

"As a British brand, it's important we maintain that," he said.

There are currently no new store openings planned for the UK, with the brand instead focusing on a roll-out in France and Germany, as well as sites in North America and Asia.

But Mr Wilson remained confident in bricks-and-mortar outlets.

"I think stores are still important, but we believe that in a fast-changing retail environment it's important to be selective about the places we pick," he added.

Belfast Telegraph