River Island turnover hit to recover
River Island reported an operating loss of £36.2m, compared with a profit of £21.4m in the equivalent period in 2019.
In the 52 weeks to 26 December 2020, turnover fell 31.7% year on year to £600.5m, from £879.5m the previous year.
The clothing giant said it has since “recovered strongly” and is now “delivering profitability ahead of pre-pandemic levels” because of the implementation of its new strategic plan which included the launch of new product categories including athleisure, loungewear and babywear. It has also significantly reduced its product lead times.
River Island CEO Will Kernan said: “The world of retail was changing at an exponential rate well before the pandemic struck and these trends have only accelerated since. The clear strategy we had in place ahead of Covid-19, together with the decisive action we took at the outset of the crisis, have allowed our business to weather the storm and emerge stronger.
“I am pleased to say that, today, our business is in better shape than it was pre-pandemic: our differentiated product ranges and pricing have huge appeal to a wide demographic, there is more buzz around the brand than there has been in many years, we are operating far more efficiently, and our digital offer goes from strength to strength. I’m excited for the many growth opportunities ahead of us, driven by the strength of the River Island brand and supported by the efficiencies and discipline we have established across our operations.”
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