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Moss Bros performs well in 'highly competitive' market

Moss Bros, the men's formalwear retailer, has reported a positive performance in the first 15 weeks of its financial year with growth underpinned by strong retail sales.

FASHION

Moss Bros performs well in 'highly competitive' market

Moss Bros, the men's formalwear retailer, has reported a positive performance in the first 15 weeks of its financial year with growth underpinned by strong retail sales.

In the 15 weeks to 13 May, total sales rose by 3.7% on the same period last year. Like-for-like sales were up 2.3% in the period.

Like-for-like retail sales, including ecommerce, were up 5.5% driven by the popularity of the the new season's ranges.

However, like-for-like hire sales on a 'cash taken' basis were 14.2% down due to the reduced value of the deposit taken from each customer when a hire order is first placed. Hire order numbers booked for collection in 2017 were 3.8% below the prior year and the total value of these orders was 1.6% lower.

Online sales continued to increase, up 14.7% on last year, with continuing growth in mobile traffic. Ecommerce sales comprised 11.6% of total sales for the 15 weeks compared with 10.7% for the same period last year.

Brian Brick, Moss Bros chief executive, said: "We are pleased with our progress and Moss Bros continues to trade well and in line with the board's expectations, despite the continuing tough trading environment and a highly competitive marketplace which has seen significantly more markdown activity than the same period last year. Retail and ecommerce sales have shown further improvement against this backdrop.”

Moss Bros has refitted three stores and opened two new shops so far this year, bringing the total number of stores trading in the new format to 101 out of a total portfolio of 129 stores. The company said the new format stores are trading ahead of non-refitted stores and are on track to achieve their anticipated payback targets.

Brick added: “We continue to be acutely aware of the economic headwinds which we will face for the remainder of the financial year, as input cost increases come into effect. We are also mindful that zero real wage growth will impact on consumer confidence. We will remain agile in our response to these market conditions.

“We are focused on the peak period of our trading year, with performance strongly event driven as we enter 'wedding season', Ascot and the school prom season. We are well placed in terms of both our core offer and levels of stock availability to maximise our share of our customers' spend."

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