Clothing & ShoesHigh Street

Moss Bros’ revenue drops as hot weather and World Cup ‘distraction’ affects sales

Menswear retailer Moss Bros has reported a drop in revenue and sales in its half year financial results, covering the period from 28 January 2018 to 28 July 2018.

The retailer’s total group revenue, excluding VAT, was down by 3.3% and fell to to £64.5m compared with the previous year. Its like-for-like retail sales was 6.9% lower. The group’s online sales showed a better performance as e-commerce sales grew 9.5% and now accounts for 12.7% of the retailer’s total sales.

Moss Bros CEO Brian Brick, attributed the poor performance to the “widespread distraction” of England’s success in the World Cup and the “extremely hot weather” which saw high street footfall drop “dramatically”. However, he said the early response to its autumn/winter range was “strong”.

He went on to say the retailer would be increasing its presence of selected sub brands on third-party retail marketplaces and continue to invest in the strength of its brand.

Two new stores were opened during the first half; at Westfield London in White City and in the Westgate Centre in Oxford, bringing the retailer’s total number of stores to 130.

Brian Brick, chief executive officer, said: “The first half trading performance was one of the most volatile for many years. We initially saw sales performance recover well following our previously highlighted early season stock shortages, and sales were generally ahead of expectation. Although all retailers were impacted in some way, menswear was specifically impacted negatively by the combination and longevity of these two external factors.

“Where a small number of our stores have underperformed against our expectations, we have decided to impair the carrying value of the related fixed asset. We believe it is right to be prudent in our assumptions, given the current trading environment, although we do have detailed action plans in place to improve performance in these stores.”

He added: “We remain acutely aware that the highly competitive retail landscape is set to continue, alongside an unpredictable economic backdrop and increasing cost headwinds. As such, we have taken the decision to continue to invest and to deliver profit lower than expectations.”

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