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Quiz to focus online while monitoring store performance to counter falling sales

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Quiz today reported falling store sales and flat online sales in the first half of its financial year. But it pointed to a return to growth in its online business after it closed some unprofitable sales channels. 

The multichannel fast fashion occasion wear and dressy casual wear retailer, ranked Top150 in IRUK Top500 research, today said in a trading statement that its revenues reached £63.3m in the six months to September 30 – down by 5% on the same time last year. 

Sales of £31.3m in its UK stores were down by 11% over the period, compared to last time, as footfall fell and sales were weaker than expected. However, said Quiz, the rate of decline has reduced in recent weeks. “We continue to focus on improving the performance of our physical retail outlets and continue to believe in their importance to our omnichannel model, and we are actively managing our stores and concessions to ensure their profitability.” The lease length on Quiz stores stands at an average of 26 months and the retailer says it looks again at whether stores remain economic when leases come up for renewal. It also hopes to save between £2m and £3m 

Online revenues of £20m were flat on last year – or up by 7% once adjusted for unprofitable revenue streams that were ended during the year. The retailer said in its full-year results that sales through third-party websites had proved less profitable than it had hoped and it stopped selling through two online retailers while also deciding to close about 20 concessions. However, sales on its own Quiz websites were 12% up on the previous year reflecting its investment online, in its product range and in marketing.

International sales were up by 3% at £12m. This, said Quiz, reflected growth at its Spanish Spanish stores and through franchise operations in other markets, but sales in its Irish stores and concessions were down in a similar way to the UK market.

Quiz chief executive Tarak Ramzan said: ”Overall, the group’s trading performance in the first half has been broadly in line with the board’s expectations despite the difficult UK trading environment. Sales growth through Quiz’s websites has continued, reflecting the investment in our product range and marketing initiatives. 

“Whilst trading conditions are expected to remain challenging in the near term, the board remains confident that underpinned by Quiz’s flexible business model and an increasing online focus, the group can return to sustainable profitable growth in the medium term.”

Quiz currently sells through more than 300 stores, concessions and franchise stores, of which 73 stores and 171 concessions are in the UK. It also sells to 22 countries through channels that include franchising, wholesale, and international online partners. 

Image courtesy of Quiz

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