Roots, a premium outdoor lifestyle brand, have reported a huge profit, despite operating during the COVID-19 pandemic. A profit of $12.3 million was reported in its last quarter. Although stores have been closed on and off throughout the pandemic, Roots had strong online sales and a high demand for their upscale comfort wear, recording a 60 per cent increase in e-commerce sales in its last quarter. The last quarter is normally the strongest period for Roots, however, sales slipped to $99.4 million from $127.5 million in the same quarter last year.
Roots chief executive, Meghan Roach, said “we’re seeing some good shifts in the marketplace from a casualization perspective that plays into our strengths. We are a business that has offered these things for quite a long period of time and our proprietary products have made us successful for that reason.”
Brick and mortar stores continue to be a key focus for Roots
Although there are strong online sales, Meghan says that “the Roots brick-and-mortar stores continue to be a key focus for the retailer. We have been spending a lot of time this past year really learning more about our customers, their lives, the way they live, and what they want from us from a product perspective,” she said, noting that 60 percent of Roots customers say they still want to come into a store to try things on.”
Roots said it earned $16.3 million or 39 cents per share, up from an adjusted profit of $13.3 million or 31 cents per share a year earlier. The drop in sales in the fourth quarter was due to temporary store closures due to the pandemic, partially offset by strong online sales.
Meghan Roach says “even though most of our retail locations were closed during what is typically our busiest and most productive time of the year, we were able to deliver profitability for the fourth quarter that was in line with the previous year when all of our stores were open. While we continue to face government mandated temporary store closures in Q1 2021, we are confident in our capabilities to manage the business through these challenging times.”