“To me that’s just wonderful and that’s why representation matters.”
Adore’s listing is the most valuable float this year and it is the biggest women-led business to list on the ASX, with Ms Morris as co-founder and Tennealle O’Shannessy as chief executive.
Ms Morris said lots of the women investing were very familiar with the company and the products it stocks, including cult beauty brands like Aspect, The Ordinary and Skinceuticals.
“If you’re a customer of a business then you understand what the value proposition is and one of the things that appealed to fund managers when we were doing the roadshows is that we did have this base of just really loyal, passionate customers that kept coming back year after year,” she said. “It’s more compelling to get excited about a stock when you’ve had some experience with it as a customer.”
Entrepreneur Summer Howarth bought shares in Adore on Friday in what she said was her first ever share market investment.
“I literally had to teach myself how to trade this week,” she said.
“I thought why would I invest in something I am not willing to be a customer in first? I always have a really great user experience [with Adore] and I know a lot of my friends are the same, Adore is their go to, it makes good sense if there are repeat customers.”
Ms Howarth said she was also keen to support a woman-founded business and particularly Ms Morris, who she admired for building Adore from scratch and teaching herself to code.
“It is also investing in the person and the product, it’s valuing what she has done and saying ‘let’s really support that’,” she said. “It’s saying ‘I want more of that’.”
Retail investors have been some of the big drivers of the strong performance of the Australian Securities Exchange this year with Commonwealth Bank’s popular trading platform Commsec recording 400,000 new subscriptions.
Oscar Oberg, lead portfolio manager at Wilson Asset Management, said while it was too early to determine to what extent retail investors made up Adore’s register, they often backed stocks in consumer facing products.
“When they can touch and feel it they probably feel more comfortable buying it,” he said.
Mr Oberg pointed to Temple & Webster, Kogan and Webjet as all having strong support from retail investors.
“Webjet is a great example of that, a big portion of their register is retail and effectively that was people trying to pick the lows with the travel sector,” he said. “To be fair the retail investor has done pretty well out of it.”
Mr Oberg said the coronavirus pandemic had also played a part in strong interest in the sharemarket from retail investors.
“A macro comment would be there’s just zero percent interest rates and more people working from home gives people more time to look at the market,” he said.
Cara is the small business editor for The Age and The Sydney Morning Herald based in Melbourne