361 Degrees International pointed to sustainable recovery after another quarter of sales expansion. The Chinese brand's turnover and profit picked up sharply last year and its comparable store sales advanced by 6.3 percent for the first quarter of this year. 361° said the quarterly performance was in line with its expectations for the full year.
The comparable store sales figure is based on 3,772 stores that have been trading for more than two years and are connected to the group's electronic point-of-sale system. This same sample reported in-store stock representing 4.1 months of sales and a retail discount of 27 percent on average for the first quarter – apparently confirming that sell-through is improving and inventories are clearing up.
The store count increased by 66 to 7,385 stores at the end of the quarter, with a larger average size and more often featuring adult as well as children's ranges. The 361° Kids stores alone saw their comparable sales increase by 7.0 percent for the quarter.
Adding to the group's optimism, 361° reports that orders jumped by 18 percent in wholesale value terms at its winter trade fair held at the Wuli industrial economic zone last month, which was attended by more than 3,000 representatives from distributors and retailers. The orders increased by 6 percent in average selling prices and by 12 percent in volume, with double-digit gains for both footwear and apparel in units. Coming after an improvement of 8 percent at the same fair last year, the rise was above expectations. These orders should mostly be delivered in the last quarter of this year.