Retail sector dominates UK’s Top 100 fastest growing companies ranking
New data published in Growth Index 2023, the annual ranking of the UK’s 100 fastest growing brands reveals that UK retail is firmly ‘on the up’ again and it’s largely thanks to multichannel selling.
This approach, adopted by more than 65% of the UK’s fastest-growing retail companies has helped them broaden their customer base, connect with customers in diverse ways and drive sales.
Growth Index 100, now in its second year, is the definitive independent league table of the UK companies with the fastest growing sales, created to celebrate their exceptional growth and success and that of the leaders behind it.
Companies are ranked by compound annual growth rate (CAGR) in sales over their last two financial years. It shines a spotlight on the most successful sectors and companies in the UK and analyses the positive impact of purpose, leadership, creativity, and strategy behind their success.
The top 10 fastest growing UK retailers (with latest sales and two-year CAGR)
- AU Vodka (£43.9m, 413%) – a premium spirits
- Ooni (£208m, 289%) – a pizza oven retailer
- Lounge Underwear (£71.3m, 113%) – lingerie retailer
- Wolf & Badger (£24.6m, 108%) – a fashion marketplace
- Gousto – (£315.2m, 95%) – meal kits
- Fairfax & Favor (£28.9m, 85%) – a country lifestyle brand
- Sosandar (£29.5m, 81%) – women’s fashion
- Butternut Box (£34.9m, 79%) – fresh dog food delivery
- Beauty Pie (£53.1m, 79%) – cosmetics buying club
- Muc Off (£44.3m, 73%) – bike cleaning products
Over a quarter (26%) of this year’s Growth Index Top 100 are retailers, including the UK’s fastest-growing business, Welsh premium vodka brand, AU Vodka. And the dominance of multichannel selling is clear to see. Of the 26 retailers, only seven are online-only and two have physical stores. The rest (65%) of the retailers have at least two sales channels – retail, wholesale, digital, and an online marketplace*.
Growth Index 2023 features several high-profile entries that were until recently, pure digital retailers, but now sell via retail or whole, including fitness brand Gymshark, independent fashion marketplace Wolf & Badger, and women’s fashion retailer Sosandar.
None of the retailers in the Top 100 are genuinely omnichannel, i.e. selling across all four channels. This is likely to reflect the sharp strategic focus of highly successful companies in the absence of unlimited resources – with only two exceptions (see above) the top ten fastest growing retail brands turned over between £20m and £75m in their latest financial years.
Physical retail is the least prominent retail channel, with only around a quarter (27%) of retailers operating their own stores, and over half of those operating fewer than 10 locations. The majority of the UK’s fastest growing retailers sell primarily online.
AU Vodka is notable for its digital-first mentality. Co-founder Charlie Morgan, whose business has excelled through sharp social media marketing and influencer collaborations, explains: “E-commerce is about 15% of our sales, which is really big for an alcohol brand, but it [takes] 80-90% of our marketing budget.”
The retail brands in the 2023 Top 100 logged cumulative sales of £2,227m – whereas the Retail businesses in the Top 100 last year achieved just £1,874m. Of the 26 retail companies in the 100, 18 of them are new entries this year.
Orlando Martins, Growth Index founder, and CEO of ORESA said: “Multichannel is no longer a choice for retailers; it’s a necessity. As the retail landscape evolves, multichannel selling has emerged as a game-changer. The ability to connect with customers through a mix of channels offers unprecedented opportunities for growth, from expanded reach to enhanced customer experiences. It’s not without its challenges though, including digital costs and the need for seamless integration.”
“As we look to the future, we can expect multichannel selling to become more pervasive, with technology planning a central role in seamless omnichannel experiences. Retailers who successfully embrace this approach, adapting to changing customer behaviours, seemingly will thrive.”
Read the full Growth Index 2023 report here
*One multichannel retailer, Tropic Skincare, sells online and through ambassadors.
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