In the Style, a fashion e-tailer that was on the brink of administration last year, has released its annual accounts, providing insight into the challenges it faced before being acquired by private equity firm Baaj Capital. The results statement, which was filed at Companies House, reveals the extent of the issues the company grappled with. However, despite operating in a challenging market environment, In the Style managed to make significant advancements in executing its operational and strategic initiatives.

The company reported a revenue of £46 million for the year ending in March, which is a decrease from £57.3 million in the previous year but still higher than the £44.7 million two years ago. This represents a year-on-year fall of 19.8% but a 2.9% increase over the span of two years. Adjusted EBITDA showed a loss of £4.3 million compared to a profit of £0.5 million in the previous 12 months. Furthermore, In the Style incurred a net loss of £7.7 million, wider than the £1.5 million loss of the previous year.

The direct-to-consumer revenue experienced an overall decline of 11% year on year, reaching £40 million. However, it showed a 10% increase over the span of two years. The decline within the latest 12-month period consisted of a 1% fall in the first half of the year and a significant 21% plunge in the second half, which was largely attributed to the cost-of-living crisis in the UK that affected the entire industry. Despite these challenges, the company noted improvements in key customer metrics, such as a 0.1% increase in conversion and an 8% rise in average selling price per unit. Additionally, In the Style stated that it continued to optimize its influencer-based business model and achieved noteworthy milestones, including launching over 140 collaborations and introducing more than 2,500 new products. Collaborations with prominent figures such as Stacey Solomon, Jack Jossa, Perrie Sian, Carys Whittaker, Yasmin Devonport, and Georgia Louise were particularly successful. The Deborah James charity collection also played a crucial role in generating total charitable donations of £1.9 million.

In terms of its own-brand proposition, In the Style reported significant progress with its FITS wardrobe staples, which were launched in August 2022 and generated £2.8 million in revenue for the year. However, the wholesale front presented challenges due to issues such as excess stock in the broader market environment. As a result, wholesale revenues plummeted by a staggering 52% to £6 million, and they also saw a decline over a two-year period. Wholesale accounted for 13% of total revenue, down from 22% in the previous year. The company maintained retail partnerships with ASOS, Freemans, Zalando, Lipsy, About You, and others. Although international sales remained modest at £3.2 million, In the Style believes they hold growth opportunities for the future.

Despite the challenges, In the Style managed to improve its gross margin by 131 basis points to 45.2%. This improvement was achieved through effective cost management, agility in product sourcing, strategic retail pricing, and optimization of promotional spends. The company also made significant operational progress, including the opening of its Heywood site in August 2022. This new facility will enhance operational efficiencies and enable the company to bring returns processing in-house. Overall, while In the Style’s accounts reflect the difficulties it faced in the year leading up to the buyout, the company remains optimistic about its future prospects and growth opportunities.

Useful links:
In the Style Official Website
Companies House Official Website