A new mobile app, pay-in-installments, and marketing via TikTok and SMS are powering apparel consumer brand manufacturer True Religion’s goal to scale its brand, become profitable and reach $250 million in ecommerce sales, with a 50% ecommerce penetration rate by 2025.
“Our goals of being a digitally first brand started years ago, and we are starting to see the culmination of that,” says Angela Clark, executive vice president of digital, who started at the jeans brand in 2019 with the tasks of “right-sizing the business” and helping achieve a profitable profit-and-loss statement.
True Religion launched in 2002 as a luxury denim brand manufacturer and ranked No. 940 in the 2021 Digital Commerce 360 Top 1000. The brand has filed for bankruptcy twice—in 2017 and more recently in 2020. True Religion exited bankruptcy in October 2020 and is currently executing its plan to grow as a digital-first brand with fewer operating costs, including fewer stores and employees.
True Religion finished out 2021 with about $250 million in total sales, about $90 million of which are ecommerce sales, or about a 36% ecommerce penetration. Roughly 35-40% of its sales are via wholesale, and the remaining 24-29% comes from its 48 physical stores. In 2021, the brand made an earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortization margin of approximately 30%, True Religion says. Buckley declined to answer if True Religion is making a net profit.
True Religion cuts costs
When Clark came to the brand, True Religion had “the Ferrari of ecommerce tools” that were great for a brand of $300 million in ecommerce sales,
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