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Bonmarché reports 3.6% rise in full-year online sales

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Bonmarché today said its sales grew by 5.3% in its latest financial year, with online sales up by 3.6% over that period. Store openings helped to boost turnover during the year to March 26, as the retailer grew its network to 312 stores and concessions – up by 20 from 292 a year earlier.

The value women’s retailer, a Top150 company in IRUK Top500 research, said that like-for-like sales, which strip out the effect of store openings and closures, grew by 1% in the year to March 26. Ecommerce sales helped to boost the overall figure, with store like-for-likes growing by 0.7%.

In the final quarter of the year, the 13 weeks to March 26, total sales grew by 5.2%. Online sales grew by 1.9%, while store-only like-for-likes grew by 0.4%, taking overall like-for-like growth to 0.5%.

A year earlier, overall like-for-like sales had fallen by 3.3%.

Beth Butterwick, chief executive of Bonmarché, said: “Post-Christmas, trading conditions have continued to be quite challenging, with the exception of January where we saw a higher than average demand for autumn/winter sale stock. Although helpful in clearing these ranges, the continued colder weather has been unhelpful in kick-starting real demand for spring products.

“Overall, consumer confidence does not appear buoyant and, given that context, I believe that the provisional results represent a creditable performance. Our financial position continues to remain healthy and our final autumn/winter terminal stock position has ended better than expected, and lower than last year. Our expectation is that trading conditions will remain challenging, and therefore our outlook for the FY17 result is cautious.”

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