Moss Bros today said its sales both online and off had recovered since stock availability issues earlier this year.
In March the men’s formalwear retail and hire business, a Top100 business in IRUK Top500 research, said that its profits for the current year would be held back by stock availability at the beginning of the year. It had been affected by “material” stock shortfalls as it moved to rationalise its supplier base in response to the ongoing weakness of sterling following the Brexit vote.
Today it said in a trading update that its trading performance had improved since March. Total sales were down by 2.4% in the first 15 weeks of the year, to May 12, with like-for-like sales down by 5.2%. Online sales were 11% up on last time, accounting for 13% of total sales in the period. The proportion of sales completed online was up from 11.5% a year earlier. Sales via its hire business were down by 4.9%.
Chief executive Brian Brick said: “Following a disappointing start to the year, our trading performance has, as anticipated, begun to improve, as a result of our improving stock availability. The wider trading environment however remains tough with a fragile consumer environment.
“We remain conscious of the economic headwinds which we face but will, as described in March, continue to invest in the areas that ensure we leverage our distinct position on the high street.
“We will shortly enter a key period of our trading year, with wedding season, school proms and Ascot. We are well placed with our core offer and levels of stock availability to maximise our share of our customers’ spend.”
Moss Bros trades online and from 128 stores, with two new stores due to open in Westfield London and in Oxford.