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Shoe Zone hails multichannel performance amid falling sales; Boohoo reports fast growth at home and abroad.

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Shoe Zone today reported falling sales and profits at a time that has seen it restructure its store estate to focus on larger profitable stores. But at the same time the value shoe retailer hailed a strong multichannel performance, with sales up by almost a third.

Overall sales of £78.2m in the six months to April 4 were 5.7% down compared to the same time last year, reflecting the closure of nine loss-making stores as it looks to focus on larger outlets. Pre-tax profits fell to £2m from £2.7m.

Shoe Zone, which sells online through and through 541 stores, reported 30% growth in multichannel sales, and says Amazon now represents 17% of its multichannel revenue. It launched fully on eBay last September and says already accounts for 7% of multichannel revenue.

Chief executive Anthony Smith said: “We have made solid progress across the business in the first half and are particularly pleased with the performance in multichannel, where we saw a 30% increase in revenue.”

He added: “We remain focused on our growth levers: extending and improving our product range to leverage our market-leading position in the value sector, driving efficiency in our property portfolio; operational investment in our warehouse facilities and enhancements to our multichannel offering.”

That investment includes the addition of a fully-responsive checkout to its website, and investment in infrastructure that has led to more efficient operations at its Leicester distribution centre.

• Meanwhile, reported a strong start to the year, with sales of £41.3m in the three months to May 31 up by 35% compared to the same time last year. UK sales of £26.3m were 27% up while rest of Europe sales of £4.9m were 27% up and rest of the world sales of £10.1m were 66% up, the fast fashion pureplay said in a trading statement today.

International sales now represent 36% of group sales.

Joint chief executives Mahmud Kamani and Carol Kane said: “We continue to build for the long term and our clear objective is to deliver sustainable future growth. We remain absolutely focused on the execution of our strategy to continue to invest in our customer proposition and build market share in our key markets.”

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