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Simply Be and Jacamo shop sales grow by 20%, as the chain is set to expand

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Home shopping company N Brown Group today reported strong growth from the bricks and mortar stores that it launched to extend its online brands Simply Be and Jacamo to the high street.

Sales for Simply Be and Jacamo plus-size brands rose by 6% and 10% respectively in the first quarter of its year, N Brown Group said in an interim management statement. At the same time, sales in Simply Be and Jacamo stores, opened in areas where the brands enjoyed high online sales, rose by 20%, like-for-like, over the period. Across the N Brown Group, sales rose by 2.6% in the 15 weeks to June 14, with like-for-like growth up by 2.5%.

The company currently plans to add seven new Simply Be and Jacamo stores to its nine existing stores, including a flagship Oxford Street shop, set to open in September. Some 58% of sales, however, are currently made online, while mail order and telephone sales are also significant.

Angela Spindler, chief executive, said: “We have stepped up the pace of change and we are making progress. We are modernising the business, broadening our appeal and refocusing on our differentiated proposition – fashion that fits. Best of all, our customers are already noticing these improvements, as we can see from the performance through the quarter.”

The company now plans to modernise its JD Williams brand, for which it has recently recruited Lorraine Kelly as brand ambassador, and is also looking to develop its Simply Be business in the US, where demand in the last quarter rose by 15%.

Our view: N Brown Group’s strategy to parlay its online brands onto the high street was groundbreaking when it first emerged. It’s fascinating to see, then, just how well these stores, whose locations were chosen by analysing the data from online sales, are doing. We’ll be watching with interest as the store count increases.

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