How have these ASX apparel stocks performed this year?

By - Tamnna


  • A report by the Australian Fashion Council said that over AU$27.2 billion of contribution was made by Australia’s apparel sector to the economy in 2020-21
  • The apparel sector is recovering from major COVID-19 lockdown impacts
  • Read to know how six ASX apparel retail stocks performed this year

The Australian apparel industry (textile, clothing, and footwear) has been facing major challenges on its way back from COVID-19 pandemic impacts, as stated by the Australian Fashion Council (AFC). Despite these obstacles, the Australian apparel industry generated opportunities for Australian women while adding more than AU$27.2 billion to the national economy in 2020-21, as per an AFC report.

In light of this, let's have a glance at the financial and operational performance of Universal Store, Best & Less Group, Mosaic Brands, Accent Group, and City Chic. These are among the listed apparel retail stocks on the ASX:

Universal Store Holdings Ltd (ASX:UNI): This ASX-listed retailing company is a specialty retailer of youth casual apparel, operating 78 physical shopping stores across Australia. The company also kept up pace with digitalisation post-COVID-19 pandemic and is actively growing its online presence.

For Universal Store, the first 21 weeks of FY23 witnessed a positive trading performance, with customers returning to shopping due to the upcoming festival season. The group’s total sales (excluding THRILLIS) for the year-to-date (YTD) FY23 were 40.2% higher than the previous corresponding period, as per the company’s updates.

Universal Store executed the acquisition of THRILLIS on 31 October 2022. On the other hand, the company’s online sales decreased by 18.5% from the prior comparable period.

Best & Less Group Holdings Ltd (ASX:BST): The speciality apparel retailer with operations in Australia as well as New Zealand comprises 250 stores with a fast-growing online presence.

Best & Less Group (BLG) mentioned witnessing AU$50 million of lost sales vs plan for the financial year 2022 due to missing out on 9,679 (10.8%) trading days in total. In accordance with this, the company’s revenue decreased from AU$663.2 million in FY21 to AU$622.2 million in FY22. However, BLG saw a 15.6% increase in online sales in FY22. Like-for-Like (LFL) revenue growth declined by 0.7% annually despite a 6.4% rise in the fourth quarter of FY22.

Mosaic Brands Ltd (ASX:MOZ): The Australian fashion retailer group having brands like Millers, Rockmans, Katies, Autograph, W. Lane, Crossroads, Noni B, Rivers, and Beme under its hood runs about 1,100 physical stores around the nation.

The company recently informed the market that it would capitalise and not pay cash interest on the notes on issue for the quarter ending 31 December 2022.

Mosaic showcased the effects of this update on convertible notes via the following:

Data: company update, dated 20 December 2022 

Accent Group Ltd (ASX:AX1): The footwear and clothing retail company houses over 750 physical stores, 35 brands, and 40 websites.

Accent Group reported that for the first 18 weeks of FY23, the company's inventory levels showed a significant delivery of new products across all banners. Following this, the group's inventory position along with its sales and operational goals are fully established going into the year's three most crucial trading months.

The total group sales for YTD FY23 were 52% higher than in FY22 along with a gross margin % YTD increase of 570 basis points (bps) on FY22. On the other hand, Accent Group’s total sales for FY22, including franchisees, were 11.3% higher than FY21.

City Chic Collective Ltd (ASX:CCX): It is a multinational omnichannel apparel, footwear, and accessories retailer catering to plus-size women. As the name suggests, the company is a collective of several customer-driven brands, including City Chic, Avenue, Hips & Curves, Fox & Royal, Navabi, Evans, and CCX.

The company said during its 2022 annual general meeting (AGM) that Black Friday, Cyber Monday, and the Christmas shopping season ending 1 January 2023, will have a substantial impact on its 1H FY23 performance. The company’s YTD revenue was about 7% lower than the prior comparable period at AU$157.1 million. However, YTD revenue was about 38% higher than in FY21, as per a company update dated 20 December 2022.