Shoe Zone swings to first half loss
Footwear retailer Shoe Zone has swung to a loss of £2.5 million in its first half from a profit of £1 million in the same period last year.
In the six months to 4 April, revenue declined to £68.9 million from £73 million in the first half of 2019.
The retailer said its performance in the period reflected the early impact of Covid-19 on trading and the government enforced closure of non-essential retail stores from 24 March. Prior to this, the retailer’s revenue climbed by 2.6% in the five months to February.
Shoe Zone continued to sell via its website and other online partners during the Covid-19 lockdown which led to online sales increasing from around 6.5% of total company sales to 17% of previously forecasted sales for the lockdown period. The retailer said high sales growth was driven by an aggressive ‘buy one get one free’ promotion.
The retailer’s stores in England, Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland stores have now reopened following the easing of lockdown restrictions. However, a review of its store portfolio has meant that Shoe Zone closed 20 stores during lockdown and will only reopen a total of 470 by the time shops in Scotland and Wales are permitted to open.
Shoe Zone has also reduced costs at its head office and is negotiating its leases with landlords.
Anthony Smith, Shoe Zone chief executive, said: “Covid-19 will continue to have an unprecedented impact on the UK economy and the retail industry. Whilst the group has taken all possible steps to ensure that the business will survive through the crisis and continue into the future, the impact is likely to continue to be felt for several years.”
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