Cotton On taking off in rapid expansion plan

FASHION retailer Cotton On has stepped up its rapid expansion, opening 61 stores in 60 days.

The Geelong-based group has launched new stores in eight countries, including 36 in Australia.

Cotton On said the new shops were opened in response to market demand and supported by a new website launched in October.

The roll out started on October 17.

Along with the new Australian stores, the group has launched nine in South Africa, five in New Zealand and three in both the Philippines and Malaysia.

Two stores were opened in the US, two in Singapore and one in Brazil.

Cotton On said its ability to get products to market fast supported the new shops, helping them replenish stock overnight.

Group chief executive Peter Johnson said the retailer was also growing online.

Cotton On’s sales on “Cyber Monday” were up 400 per cent compared with a year earlier.

Cyber Monday, which generally falls in the first week of December, is a retail sales event created in the US to encourage consumers to shop online.

It is modelled on Black Friday — the retail sales event at shops the US following their Thanksgiving Day public holiday on the fourth Thursday every November. Cyber Monday is the following Monday.

Cyber Monday turnover on Cotton On’s new website was up 300 per cent on the previous record for any online sale.

“The online shopping experience needs to be accessible, easy to navigate and work seamlessly with the demands of our customers’ lifestyles,” Mr Johnson said.

Bricks and mortar stores continued to draw in the crowds also, the group said.

The new South African stores is Cotton On’s biggest in the world.

More than 5000 customers flocked to the shop on its first day, with the store breaking the group’s first-day trading record.


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