MANCHESTER – It would seem that not even the new breed of rapidly growing apparel etailers are immune from the tough retail market right now. We understand that UK brand Missguided is looking to make around 50 redundancies from its 800-strong workforce as it seeks to balance rapid expansion with profitability.
In December it was reported that Missguided had fallen into the red, with operating profits falling from £381,000 in 2016 to a £1.45 million loss. These figures came during a rapid period of growth – online sales grew by 40 per cent over the same time frame.
In a letter to staff, Missguided chief executive Nitin Passi said: “The tough market has led to sales growth that’s lower than we need it to be and our investments in margin and other costs means that missing our annual profit target is inevitable.
“The business has doubled its number of employees in two years and as a result some teams are less lean then they need to be.
“We have to put investment into the right areas. The business has been massively focused on growth but we do need to make sure we have sustainable growth.”
We see this as a temporary blip for Missguided. Any rapidly growing business will experience blips, and it can be a tough, thankless process correctly balancing staffing levels in such dynamic environment. Missguided still has massive growth potential in its home, UK market, while international sales – which now make up almost half of turnover – are developing very nicely. Shedding staff now is a tough call, but it is the right one.