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Gloucestershire Business News

Sales slump reported by Moss Bros

Fashion retailer and suit hire specialists Moss Bros have reported a slump in sales.

The trading update for the 24 weeks to January 11 revealed that sales for the period were down three per cent on last year and -3.2 per cent on a like-for-like basis.

Retail sales, which accounted for 92 per cent of the group's turnover, were down 1.6 per cent on last year and 1.8 per cent on a like-for-like basis.

Online sales were also down 0.4 per cent with internet sales comprising 17 per cent of group revenue, up from 16.6 per cent last year.

A statement released alongside the results said: A key focus in the Period has been on delivering full price sales with less old season stock to clear.

"This has been successful and has resulted in improved retail gross margin rates throughout the Period.

"Like-for-like sales for the Period have been broadly in line with the Board's expectations against a backdrop of ongoing weak consumer confidence.

"The Group expects to report a full year adjusted loss before tax (pre-IFRS16) of approximately

-£1m."

Moss Bros CEO Brian Brick said: "We have seen more intensive discounting from our competitors and a materially lower level of footfall across the high streets and shopping centres of the UK.

"Despite this, we have resisted discounting pressures, facilitated by our careful buying plans which have meant that we are holding lower levels of terminal stock to clear.

"This has been particularly evident in our High Street stores where we were able to focus on delivering our core purpose of styling individuals for on form moments.

"We continue to deliver against our brand elevating customer value proposition of offering our customers the chance to "Make It Yours", whether they wish to hire, buy or customise their outfit using our Tailor Me service, which goes from strength to strength.

"Despite the delivery of progress against our strategic levers, we anticipate the year ahead will continue to be challenging until we see an improvement in consumer confidence and a stabilisation in footfall across UK shopping destinations combined with a re-alignment of occupancy costs to properly balance the costs and rewards of doing business in physical retail stores.

"We remain debt free, with a strong balance sheet, and are confident in our ability to deliver enhanced returns to our shareholders over the longer term."

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