In seven glorious years, Mandy Sigaloff, ClubQT Founder and Director, has seen first-hand how the fashion powerhouse has enjoyed phenomenal growth with record sales and profits. Here, she shares just how the boohoo dream team did it.
“A lot has changed at boohoo.com since I first met Mahmud Kamani and Carol Kane in 2012. They had founded boohoo in the UK six years earlier and a good friend of mine had recommended ClubQT to them as they were looking to launch in Australia.
From the moment we shook hands in the lounge of a Sydney hotel, I knew I was in the presence of two very special people, and that the Australian fashion landscape was never going to be the same again.
A global triumph
Over the next 48 hours, I saw precisely why their business would become such a spectacular global triumph. Four things in particular stood out right from the get go:
- They never seem to sleep yet are always full of energy and excitement.
- Mahmud is an absolute mastermind when it comes to brokering great deals and seizing opportunities whenever they arise.
- Carol’s eye for style is unrivalled. She has a sixth sense about opening up new markets and knowing exactly what products will work and which ones won’t. Her instincts about Australia were spot on within minutes of her plane touching down.
- When they decide on their strategy, they really go for it. Or, as Mahmud would say, ‘We are going to smash it!’ And smash it they have – over and over again.
Big, bold and boohoo!
Everything that boohoo has done in the last seven years has been big, bold and dramatic. And ClubQT has been honoured to be at its side every step of the way as it quickly became an Australian household name.
The statistics are staggering:
Sales have rocketed skywards every year from £92 million in 2013 to a whopping £856.9 million by February this year. The company has six million Instagram followers and just under three million Facebook likes.
The boohoo Group has added boohooMAN, PrettyLittleThing, boohooKIDS, boohooBEAUTY and Nasty Gal to its portfolio and just announced an adjusted pre-tax profit of £76.3 million, an increase of 49% in just a year.
We have had so much fun working with the boohoo team over the years. They throw the biggest and best parties, including the first ever ice skating event at Bondi Beach! We’ve had entire magazine takeovers, a boohoo double decker bus, huge digital screens in Melbourne’s Bourke Street, ice cream vans, beach events, street furniture, schoolies’ activations and effective TV campaigns.
All of which has shown millions of Aussies that boohoo.com is the place to shop for young fashion.
The dynamic duo
There are countless reasons why Mahmud and Carol are so successful. I thought I’d share just a few…
- Their appetite for risk. When we first worked together, they immediately recognised the potential and went for it. It didn’t matter how many obstacles were put in their way, their resolve never wavered.
- Inspiring their staff. Mahmud and Carol’s can-do attitude is infectious and the whole boohoo team is accomplished at solving problems, pivoting quickly when necessary and never losing focus. It’s wonderful to see how everyone feels a part of the boohoo family. Their loyalty, passion for the brands and work ethic are second to none.
- Always being ahead of the game. In the fashion business, if you stand still, you don’t survive. Mahmud and Carol wouldn’t know how to rest on their laurels if they tried! You want proof? How about these examples:
They were the first to offer such a vast range of fast, affordable fashion in Australia
They use live events and activations, and create excitement and word of mouth like no other company to make their clothes must-haves for all young women.
They both recognised and embraced the power of bloggers and influencers well before other fashion labels. They knew that creating talkability was key to connecting to a sometimes fickle demographic.
The innovative launch of boohoo’s Student Ambassador Program used an army of advocates to rapidly spread the word and generate enviable brand loyalty.
- Loyalty to business partners and agencies. Mahmud told me on that first meeting that if I helped him with the launch, he would not forget it. And he hasn’t.
From that day, there has never been an event that we haven’t been invited to. Whenever I’m in Manchester, there’s always a lunch and a catch up so he and Carol can update me on their plans. Once you’re a part of the boohoo family, you’re always a part of the boohoo family!
It’s been a hectic, rewarding and, above all, fun seven years. Both Mahmud and Carol deserve every bit of their phenomenal success.