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Jacamo and Simply Be owner N Brown mulls store closures

The Jacamo and Simply Be 'power brands' are outperforming and the majority of revenue comes via online ordering, meanwhile, store based footfall was weaker
store closure sign
All 20 of the group's stores could potentially close

Clothing retailer N Brown Group Plc (LON:BWNG) has revealed it will possibly close its high street stores as three quarters of all its revenue comes now comes from online orders.

Group wide, the group is considering closing its 20 retail stores.

"In line with our online strategy, and given continued weak high street footfall, we have today commenced a consultation process with colleagues over the future of our small store estate,” said Angela Spindler, N Brown chief executive.

READ: N Brown reports growth in profits despite challenging market

“This action has not been taken lightly and we will do all we can to support the colleagues affected during this process.”

In a trading update the Jacamo and SimplyBe parent said that first quarter revenue increased by 0.4% during the thirteen week period ended June 2 – albeit, the growth was the result of a 9% rise in financial services related activity rather than product sales which reduced by 2.8%.

The group, meanwhile, said that its ‘power brands’ outperformed, highlighting that product revenues increased within the Simply Be and Jacamo brands with the former up 9.3% and the latter up 2%.

The retailer told investors that 84% of its orders came from new customers during the first quarter of 2018, while, the total number of customers and the ‘power brand’ active customer numbers were said to be “broadly flat” in the year-on-year comparisons.

"As highlighted in our full year results, this was a challenging period for fashion retail,” Spindler added.

“Against this backdrop and a double-digit comparative in product revenue, I am satisfied with our Q1 performance.”

N Brown said its full year guidance would remain unchanged, though it noted that exceptional costs would be created as a result of proposed store closures.

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