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Mobile holds the key to multichannel sales at Shoe Zone

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Value footwear retailer Shoe Zone said mobile sales were making an important contribution to its multichannel strategy as it reported half-year revenues of £72.9m in the six months to April 1, down by 2.3% on the same time last year. Pre-tax profits of £0.3m were down by 84% from £1.9m a year ago.

The retailer, a Top100 retailer in IRUK Top500 research, sells through 504 stores in the UK and Ireland and online through and third party sites including Amazon Marketplace – which makes its range available to European shoppers as well as potential customers in its domestic markets.

Shoe Zone said that multichannel showed “strong profitable growth” in the first half of the year. Multichannel sales, it said, were up by 30%, year-on-year, with mobile now accounting for 66% of online revenue and 76% of online visits. In the same period last year, 57% of online sales and 70% of were visits came via mobile. It said: “We continue to develop mobile technology as the primary focus of our digital strategy.”

Email continued to be a strong source of online sales growth, the retailer said in its half-year statement. In the first half of the year, its email club membership grew by 18% and it sent an extra 3.6m targeted emails during the period.

Elsewhere the retailer has focused on introducing Big Box format stores, and aims to have 10 branches by the end of 2017.

Chief executive Nick Davis said: “I am pleased with the Group’s performance in the first half as we continued to actively manage the retail estate while driving profitable sales. The devaluation of sterling against the dollar has impacted the group’s statutory profits in the period however as we reach the annualised rebasing of this rate, we anticipate the ongoing impact will be significantly reduced.

“Our Big Box trial has continued to perform well and as such, we will accelerate roll out of the concept during the second half of 2017. We aim to have 10 Big Box stores by the end of 2017 and will continue with the planned growth in subsequent years.”

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