N Brown to close five loss-making stores
N Brown, the owner of Simply Be, JD Williams and Jacamo, is to close five loss-making stores as it reports a 5.6% increase in first quarter group revenue and a 10.2% rise in product revenue driven by a strong womenswear performance.
In the 13 weeks to 3 June, online revenue climbed by 16%, which means that 71% of the group’s revenue is now generated online.
Product revenue at Simply Be, JD Williams and Jacamo rose by 20.5%, 12.7% and 5.5% respectively in the period.
Angela Spindler, N Brown chief executive, said: “We are pleased to report a good Q1 performance, with continued momentum across all of our brands and categories. Ladieswear and Simply Be in particular had a very strong period, with good responses to our Spring/Summer campaigns, leading to further market share gains.”
International revenue was up 10%, and down 2% in constant currency terms.
The company said it is planning to close up to five Simply Be and Jacamo dual-fascia stores due to weak high street footfall, both current and predicted, and significant future business rate increases for some stores. Together, the five stores contributed £5 million revenue but accounted for the entire £2 million operating loss of N Brown’s store estate in the previous financial year. The process will be completed by the end of August.
Looking ahead, Spindler said: “Although the outlook for consumer confidence remains uncertain, our offering is resonating with customers. At this early stage in the financial year, trading is on track to meet our expectations. We continue to invest in our customer proposition and remain very confident in our future growth prospects.”
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