Fashion fall-out

Quiz suffers Christmas hangover as online sales slump

Quiz Clothing

Sales have been falling at fashion chain

Fashion chain Quiz Clothing suffered a festive fall-out with a 9.3% drop in revenue in the seven-week Christmas trading period.

Figures for the Scotland-based company coincide with weak data from the Scottish Retail Consortium which said the high street had suffered a “bleak midwinter”.

Quiz said it had been pleased with sales across the Black Friday week but they had softened since then.

It continued to deliver growth through its own websites with revenues increasing by 5.9% in the period but declining significantly from third party online partners. This led to overall online sales falling by 14.8%. 

Quiz’s stores and concessions have experienced a reduction in footfall compared to the prior year.  This trend continued during the period resulting in revenue from the group’s UK standalone stores and concessions decreasing by 7%.

Gross margins in the period were broadly in line with expectations. Inventory continues to be carefully managed with current levels lower than the previous year.

The balance sheet remains strong with net cash of £10.7m as at 4 January 2020 (5 January 2019: £12.3m). 

As a result of action taken, the group’s overall performance in the year-to-date remains broadly in line with the board’s expectations.

Tarak Ramzan, chief executive, said: “Whilst the trading backdrop has remained challenging, it is disappointing to report a decline in revenues in the period. 

“We were pleased that revenues through our own websites grew in the Period with less promotional activity than in the prior year, which underpins our confidence in the health of the Quiz brand.

“We remain confident that we can improve our financial performance and grow revenues.”

Retail sales in Scotland fell by 0.9% in November and December, described by David Lonsdale, Director of the Scottish Retail Consortium as a “bleak midwinter”.

“Over the crucial two-month period leading up to Christmas, real terms sales dipped by 0.5% – the second successive year of negative figures. That rounded off a pretty tepid 2019, which saw online-adjusted sales nudge up by 0.3% across the year,” he said.

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