“We are very pleased with the successful acquisition and integration of Rip Curl into the group.
The group’s 60 Greater Melbourne stores were closed for most of this period, while 14 Auckland stores were shuttered for more than a fortnight as restrictions returned amid a second wave of COVID-19 infections.
Chief executive Xavier Simonet said Rip Curl’s strong performance highlighted the strength of the brand as more people took to surfing, with wholesale sales broadly at pre-pandemic levels.
Airport stores in Australia as well as Rip Curl stores in Hawaii and Europe were still being hampered by either travel restrictions or lockdowns, the group said in the update.
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Mr Simonet said the group’s first-half result would be dependent on the all-important Christmas trading period, and the impact of COVID-19 on consumer sentiment remained a risk.
Excluding closed stores, however, direct to consumer sales were up almost 27 per cent for both Rip Curl and Kathmandu, while online sales soared 37 per cent.
Adventure and outdoor clothing retailer Kathmandu took a hit from travel restrictions and store closures, but the “transformational” acquisition of surfwear brand Rip Curl has proved a wise move.
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Demand for core warmth and leisure products post-lockdown was strong, however.
“There remains a significant opportunity for Kathmandu to leverage Rip Curl’s proven wholesale expertise, relationships and global network to expand into new core target markets when the time is right,” he said.
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