Cotton On estimates a 22.5% rise in sales to $1.51 billion this year

Cotton On Catwalk. Photo: Matt King/ Getty.

The Cotton On Group, a low-cost Australian retailer, continues to perform strongly despite tough conditions for Australian retailers and the competition from American fast fashion players such as Zara, H&M and Top Shop.

The organisation, which includes Cotton On, Cotton On Body, Cotton On Kids, Factorie, T-Bar and Supre, has forecast sales to rise 22.5 per cent to $1.51 billion this year, with plans to add almost 230 jobs locally and overseas.

The expansion is a step in the right direction for the business to continue its five-year record of 20 per cent-plus sales growth.

Driving this is the company’s three-year plan to open 570 stores around the globe, taking the total to almost 1900, lifting online sales to $250 million, and developing new e-commerce offerings.

Since its launch in 1991, Cotton On has grown to consistently outperform its competitors through similar aggressive expansion and now holds 3.7% market share. Last year it introduced an augmented reality experience on its app for customers. It was the first of its kind in Australia.

The privately owned company now has 1300 stores in 17 countries including Australia, New Zealand, Malaysia, Singapore, Hong Kong and the United States. Some estimates have valued the group at well over $1 billion.

Founder Nigel Austin told Fairfax the business has ruled out an IPO and has spurned offers from private equity investors and domestic retailers.

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