Direct to consumer sales up 118% over last quarter as UK lockdown fuels demand For homeware products

Innovative consumer products company JML is pleased to report strong financial results over the last quarter to 31st July 2020. Direct to consumer sales more than doubled, rising by 118% year on year. Sales through JML’s high street retail partners also recovered quickly, with preliminary figures for August up by 20% compared to the same period last year.

Online sales, mainly on the company’s website, though also via e-retailers such as Amazon, was the fastest growing channel in the last quarter. Call centre volumes also increased by 22%. August call volumes increased 121% year on year, as more shoppers chose to order by phone.

Bricks and mortar revenues through JML’s stockists, such as ASDA, Boots, Wilko and Tesco, rebounded swiftly from the impact of the pandemic. JML retail sales have consistently increased since April 2020 and in recent weeks have exceeded the same period last year, with August up 20% on 2019.  At the same time, JML’s direct operation has continued to maintain momentum and has not seen signs of cannibalisation.

A key factor in driving the sales increase for the quarter is JML’s comprehensive range of product categories focused on solving consumers’ everyday problems, including personal grooming, fitness, cleaning, storage, home office, car care and pet care.

Recent investments have also contributed to the sales increase. JML has invested in in-house ecommerce and digital marketing capability, a new company-wide Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) system, state of the art Customer Relationship Management (CRM), an upgraded web platform and remote working technologies, which management believes puts the company in a strong position to capitalise on rapidly evolving shopper behaviour.

JML has also sustained media spend throughout the lockdown – including investment in “3 minute media” – at a time when many rivals were cutting back, ensuring that the brand remained in the front of consumers’ minds and which the company believes contributed towards increased call centre volume and overall improved performance.

Finally, many of the company’s distribution partners in over 50 countries have also experienced a growing appetite for JML’s products during the pandemic, initially from shoppers ordering from home, but increasingly through retail stores as well.

Ken Daly, CEO of JML, comments: “JML is cautiously optimistic about the remainder of the year.  The company is launching around 20 new products, all aimed at consumers who are spending more time at home.  Our management believe that gifting during the all-important Christmas period will have a bigger focus for shoppers than is normally the case, and JML’s competitively priced and innovative products that make everyday life easier will be highly attractive, particularly as household budgets will likely still be constrained.”