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Quiz sales tumble amid ‘challenging’ Christmas

Quiz suffered a “disappointing” period of Christmas sales, as group revenue fell by 9.3% over the seven week period ended 4 January 2020.

The retailer said it experienced a reduction in footfall compared with the prior year, which resulted in stores and concessions revenue decreasing by 7%. 

The group also “terminated” unprofitable revenue streams through third-party website partners over the past year. Revenue from these partners therefore declined “significantly” against the year prior. This meant that group online revenue decreased 14.8% in the period overall.

However, Quiz said that it “continued to deliver growth” through its website trading, with its own website revenues increasing 5.9% in the period. This was supported by “improved full-price sell-through” and less promotional activity. 

Gross margins were also in line with expectations, and inventory was “carefully managed”, with current levels lower than the previous year. 

Group management said it “remained firmly focused” on improving gross margins, enhancing efficiencies and reducing cost across the business. These measures “largely offset the impact on profitability of the lower than anticipated sales in the period”, and overall year-to-date performance still “remains broadly in line” with the board’s expectations.

CEO Tarak Ramzan said: “Whilst the trading backdrop has remained challenging, it is disappointing to report a decline in revenues in the period.  

“We were pleased that revenues through our own websites grew in the period with less promotional activity than in the prior year, which underpins our confidence in the health of the Quiz brand.”

He added: “We have continued to make good progress in improving gross margins and reducing costs in line with the strategic priorities set out by the board last year. With our cash position, we remain confident that we can improve our financial performance and grow revenues. 

“We have a clear customer focus and a flexible model that the board continues to believe will enable Quiz to adapt to the changing retail environment and return to profitable growth in the medium-term.”

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