Shoe Zone says strong progress in its digital and its ‘big box’ store channels have helped it to grow sales in its latest full year.
The discount shoe retailer, ranked Top100 in IRUK Top500 research, said in a trading update that it had turned over about £161.9m in the 53 weeks to October 5, up by 0.8% on the previous year, and that it expected to report pre-tax profits in line with market expectations - despite a testing retail environment.
One key factor in the sales rise, said Shoe Zone, was its digital strategy. The retailer sells online via shoezone.com, which supports a range of competitive multichannel services. They include free click and collect, which enables shoppers to collect their online orders as quickly as the same day. Customers can also return items to the store or to Hermes parcel shops, with free returns for up to a year. Standard delivery is made in two to three days for free, while next-day and express delivery options are also available at a cost. But shoppers who pay for a delivery pass can get next-day tracked delivery for a year.
Shoe Zone also pointed to its large format stores. The retailer trades from 500 stores, after opening 24 new stores and closing 16 during the full-year. Of its new shops, 21 were in its larger ‘big box’ format, of which it now has 40. It aims to have 45 such stores by the end of 2019.
Shoe Zone chief executive Ashley Smith said: “Shoe Zone has ended this difficult year in line with our revised expectations. It is early days in the new financial year but we have been encouraged by the performance so far. There are a further twenty Big Box openings planned for the coming year which, alongside our strong Digital momentum, will continue to drive growth in the future.”
Shoe Zone says it sells 18m pairs of shoes each year for an average £10 retail price.
Image: Screenshot of shoezone.com/InternetRetailing Media