TOUS drives its transformation in a year marked by the pandemic
The company closed business year 2020 with a turnover of 280 million euros in a year in which it was forced to close its stores for 35% of the time.
This figure is entirely dictated by the impact of the COVID crisis, which had a significant impact on sales in the first semester, and that TOUS managed to turn around in the second half of the year.
The jewelry firm pushed the digitization of its business forward and embarked on a transformation process to strengthen its competitiveness by investing 22 million euros over the year.
TOUS, Spain's leading jewelry and accessory brand in the affordable luxury segment, closed the 2020 business year, inevitably marked by the effects of the pandemic, which affected the economy, consumption in general and the retail sector in particular.
The absolutely exceptional scenario experienced in 2020 forced the company to close its stores for 35% of the year. In fact, almost all of its outlets worldwide were closed for approximately two months. Despite this, TOUS’ turnover dropped below this figure – 29% in comparison with 2019 – to reach 280 million euros.
During the year in which TOUS celebrated its centenary, the jewelry firm engaged in a number of emblematic actions to share the significance of commemorating its 100 years of history with its community, customers and teams, despite all of the challenges that the year brought with it at every level. In addition, strategic decisions were fast-tracked in 2020 that bolstered its commitment to innovation, digitization and transformation, as well as its retail business, as seen in particular through the acquisition of the business in Poland, events for which an investment of more than 22 million euros was earmarked. In this regard, over the past months the company has decided to focus on the process of crosscutting transformation, which has shored up the workflows in place through the renewal of its pillars of competitiveness and growth in the mid-term in an initiative called TOUS Next.
All of the extraordinary situations and the unprecedented slowdown of the economies in which TOUS operates have resulted in the jewelry firm making losses of 10.8 million euros last year, which only accounts for 3.8% of its turnover. This overall figure mainly reflects the fallout at the outset of the crisis, marked by the effects on the economy following the declaration of the state of emergency in Spain and similar measures such as travel restrictions in several countries during the first months of the year. Indeed, in the second semester of 2020 TOUS’ sound business model and strategy reversed this trend and profits were obtained, a swing that has been consolidated in 2021.
TOUS considers these results to be merely circumstantial and isolated in time. Furthermore, in an extremely complex situation the company closed the year with a very healthy liquidity position, an exceptionally buoyant net cash position – 25% up on that of 2019 – and a more efficient cost structure.
TOUS’ CEO, Carlos Soler-Duffo, highlighted that: “The difficulties we faced in 2020 put us in a scenario without precedent in which TOUS demonstrated the soundness of its business to obtain results in line with the situation. Our robustness, adaptability and flexibility have been key to resisting, consolidating and facing the future in a positive way, leaving behind the most exceptional year in the history of the world.”
Digitization and other strategic decisions
Another event worth highlighting last year was TOUS’ firm commitment to adapt its model to social changes by promoting the online channel. Work was done on the website’s functionality, online appointments were introduced and customer service was upgraded so that new ways of responding to customer requirements remotely could be found. In addition, all delivery service schemes were faster.
These decisions resulted in TOUS attaining a 72% rise in its e-commerce, which went up from 8% in 2019 to 20% of the company’s turnover in 2020, to become the firm’s third strongest market, following Spain and Mexico.
Furthermore, the company fast-tracked its strategic decisions – which were in the pipeline in 2019 – to adapt its business and focus on those areas and regions it had been planned to develop, and that will allow TOUS to lay the foundations for growth in the long-term. Along these same lines, the jewelry firm will concentrate on 45 countries so that it has a solid, forward-looking network, with the ultimate objective of providing the same TOUS experience to all customers around the world, for which priority will be given to excellence of service and customer engagement. In this context, the company has taken over the direct management of the business in Poland, made up of 46 stores and a team of 190 people.
TOUS Next: transformation as future business leverage
The investment in transformation begun in 2020 culminated in a crosscutting transformation, which will lay the foundations for the organization’s future competitiveness and growth. TOUS Next is the name of this initiative through which the company wishes to engage with its consumers and society, thanks to a more streamlined, digital and efficient way of working, and to uphold its leadership in the affordable luxury segment.
The project is based on three areas: customer focus and digitization, driving responsibility and sustainability, and reviewing processes to deliver maximum efficiency and flexibility.
The Chairwoman of TOUS, Alba Tous, highlighted the following about TOUS Next: “As a 100-year-old company, we have always been able to adapt to the demands of the market and our customers, who are our mainstay. TOUS Next enables us to follow up on this philosophy thanks to a global, holistic project: a brave decision to continue innovating and engaging with consumers, in which the talent and contributions of our employees will be fundamental".