Schuh swings to full year loss
Footwear retailer Schuh swung to a pre-tax loss of £6.1 million in the year to January 2019 after it faced a second year of “extremely challenging” conditions.
The loss compares to a pre-tax profit of £13.1 million in the previous year.
Turnover in the period fell by over £20 million to £288.4 million despite a considerable increase in online sales.
The company said it faced an unprecedented range of trading headwinds in the year including increasing occupancy and staff costs, Brexit uncertainty, a highly promotional environment and lower footfall in shopping destinations.
In September, Schuh engaged retail property consultant CAPA with the aim of reducing occupancy costs across its store estate. Schuh’s parent company has also reached out to landlords to seek their support in reducing rents.
During the period, Schuh closed down its three German stores and is due to take a final decision on the winding up of the German entity shortly.
David Gillan-Reid, Schuh finance and HR director, said: “As a business we remain focused on delivering initiatives to further enhance profitability and customer experience, including our new transformational 2020 store design, CRM personalisation, driving brand awareness, and continuing to offer our customers their favourite footwear brands and styles.
“Despite the challenging environment, we believe there are opportunities to navigate our way through this period with support from landlords on store rents, Councils with rates help, less focus on a continual heavily promotional environment and, not least, some clarity on the UK’s future relationship with the EU.”
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