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Online growth ‘ahead of schedule’ at Shoe Zone, even as warm weather triggers profits warning

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Shoe Zone today said that online growth was ahead of schedule, even as it warned first-half profits and sales would be lower than at the same time last year.

In a trading update, the multichannel retailer, which sells online through and through an expanding chain of stores, warned that warm weather in the autumn had had a “material impact” on trading in the first half of its financial year. While the retailer had sold more footwear as it opened more stores, selling prices fell as, for example, more ankle boots sold than the higher priced long leg boots thanks to warmer weather.

Overall revenues and profits, the retailer said, would be down on the previous year, with full-year results now expected to be below market expectations.

But the company said it would continue to focus on expansion with the opening of larger format stores.It opened nine new stores in the first half and has agreed terms for 10 more.

Meanwhile, it said, “our online channel continues to perform strongly and growth is comfortably ahead of schedule.”

Chief executive Anthony Smith said: “We experienced tougher than anticipated trading conditions in the first half and whilst we are having to reset expectations for the full year, the company’s proposition is still very strong; we have confidence in our overall strategy and we continue to see significant opportunities ahead.”

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