55% of Accent Group's store network was closed during the first half of FY22, the business has revealed in its first half results.
With 400 of the Group's 700 stores closed during lockdowns, the business' digital sales boomed, lifting 47.9% to $159.8 million - accounting for 31.2% of total sales in the half.
As customers shopped online, the footwear giant was able to grow its contactable customer database by 600,000 to a total of nine million customers.
Overall, Accent Group reported total sales of $594 million for the first half ($541.3 million H1 FY21).
Accent Group CEO Daniel Agostinelli praised the business for its progress on its growth plan, despite the challenges of COVID.
"Trade in the first half was severely impacted by the COVID-related disruption and lockdowns that occurred across Australia and New Zealand.
"In this context, I am pleased with the results that have been achieved along with the continued progress the group has delivered against its growth plan objectives.
"The continued focus on VIP (our loyalty customers), Vertical and Virtual, along with our integrated digital and store operating model, has enabled the group to grow online sales, continue to grow its customer database and loyalty programs and successfully trade through our inventory," he said.
In its retail business, Accent Group opened 104 new stores in the half and closed four stores where rent outcomes could not be achieved.
Stylerunner opened 15 new stores in the half, while Glue Store opened five new concept stores across Australia.
Accent's owned retail sales were $443.3 million in the period, with management estimated impact of COVID lockdowns and disruptions on the owned retail sales of at least $95 million.
In the wholesale business, Accent Group recorded a 47.7% lift in wholesale sales to $81.9 million on the prior year. During the half, the business signed a new 10-year distribution agreement with Reebok in Australia and New Zealand.
The business now also has 10 vertical brands that are continuing to deliver strong results.
"We continue to build a strong defensible business in Australia and New Zealand," Agostinelli said of the results.
"Our portfolio of global distributed brands, owned vertical brands, integrated digital capability and large store network are core assets of the Group and position the company well for strong growth into the future.
"I am pleased with the progress that has been made on our key growth strategies.
"I would like to thank our team, suppliers and landlords for their efforts and resilience and our customers for their continued loyalty," he said.
Accent Group reported EBITDA of $99.5 million for H1 FY22 ($97.5 million H1 FY21), EBIT of $30.3 million and NPAT of $14.8 million ($52.8 million H1 FY21).
The business closed the half with 738 stores and cash on hand and undrawn debt facilities of $192.6 million.