Australian Luxury E-commerce Upstart Cettire Posts Strong Sales Growth

The grey-market luxury online retailer has reported 154 million Australian dollars (US$109.7 million) in gross revenue for the six months ended December 31, eclipsing its entire FY2021 revenue in that period.

Cettire, which sells a vast array of luxury brands including Prada, Burberry and Gucci on its site, works with third-party wholesalers in Europe to sell luxury goods at VAT-exempt prices. Even after its IPO, the company has been operating under a cloud of mystery in Australia, say analysts.

Sales for the half-year period were up by 192 percent year-on-year due to what founder and CEO Dean Mintz described in a stock-exchange filing as “the continued exceptional growth in active customers and stable gross revenue per active customer”.

Sales revenue surged 181 per cent to 113.7 million Australian dollars during the period, but the growth has come at a cost: a net profit after tax of 4.8 million for the same period a year ago turned into a deficit of 8.3 million in the latest half, with the filing referring to investment in brand marketing to drive brand awareness and support long-term returns.

Mintz said the momentum has continued into January with unaudited sales up by 242 per cent on the same month a year ago. “What excites us is that Cettire has only just started and is in the early stages of its growth journey.”

With $55.5 million cash on hand at the end of the year and zero debt, Mintz said Cettire is well placed to expand both its geographic footprint and its product offer.

“Cettire’s upcoming beauty category launch will expand the company’s total addressable market and is a key step in propelling Cettire towards its ambition of being the world’s leading online luxury destination,” he said in the filing.

Citing “tremendous growth opportunities” in its historically strong core markets of the US, UK and Australia, Mintz said it was working to “unlock the growth opportunity in multiple high-value luxury goods markets, where we already have services, due to the migration of traffic to our proprietary storefront, which supports localised content, currencies and payment options”. The company is developing mobile apps to improve and optimise the transaction flow and support improved conversion rates over time.

“Given the global growth opportunity available to Cettire, we will be running the business to maximise revenues by further investing in brand and customer acquisition, to drive long-term shareholder value,” he added.

“Our focus for the remainder of FY22 is to continue to enhance our customer proposition which is centred around our vast selection of luxury products, value and rapid fulfilment, whilst continuing to develop our deep and diverse supply relationships and investing in our world-class proprietary e-commerce technology that can be rapidly scaled to support entry to new product and geographic markets.”

Learn more:

The Rise and Stumble of a Grey Market Upstart

Cettire rode a pandemic luxury e-commerce boom to an IPO in December, but this week trading in its shares was halted after a precipitous fall.

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