N Brown reports improved sales for October and November
The group had previously reported that it had made a weak start to the second half of its financial year and revised its expectations for the year.
In trading update issued today for the 13 weeks to 29 November the group said: “We are pleased to report that trading performance has improved since September as the changes we are implementing within the business take effect, with the group reporting revenue growth in both October and November.”
N Brown, whose brands include Simply Be, Figleaves, Jacamo and JD Williams, said sales returned to growth in October with an increase of 1.5%. Growth continued in November with sales rising by 3%. This meant that overall turnover for the third quarter declined by 2.3% with year-to-date down 1.2%.
The group said it was continuing to move the business further away from the traditional mail order model towards its objective of becoming a multi-channel, fashion led retailer.
At the end of the quarter the number of customers who had ordered in the previous twelve months had grown by 2% year-on-year. In addition, the re-launch of the JD Williams brand led to a 30% increase in new customers in the quarter compared to the same period last year.
N Brown opened a flagship Simply Be and Jacamo store in London’s Oxford Street in September. This was followed by further store openings in Merry Hill, Norwich and Edinburgh during October and November. During the quarter Simply Be and Jacamo stores posted overall sales growth of 78%.
The group said it had delivered steady growth in the US with product demand up 10% in the period.
N Brown chief executive Angela Spindler said: "We are pleased with the strength in our customer activity levels and sales during November. We have seen an excellent response from both existing and new customers to planned higher profile brand activity on our JD Williams, Simply Be and Jacamo power brands.
"We are continuing with our strategic plan to simplify and modernise the business. We have a clearly differentiated proposition and the longer range market projections for online growth and changing demographics are in our favour. These underpin confidence in our mission to be the leading global retailer famous for making shopping for fashion easy and enjoyable regardless of size."
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