Quiz sales plummet in latest year as occasion clothing drops off shopping lists
Struggling womenswear brand Quiz delivered a trading update on Tuesday and showed just how tough times have continued to be for the firm.
In the year ended March 31, total sales fell 66%, UK store and concession sales were down 82% and international sales dropped 65%. But perhaps most important was the fact that online sales fell 42%.
That last drop came at a time when most fashion retailers managed to increase their online sales due to the fact that online was the only channel in which they were able to operate. The problem for Quiz was that its particular brand of womenswear – geared towards going out and special occasions – was the last thing on many consumers’ minds during lockdowns.
That meant revenues for the year fell to £39.7 million, with online down to £21.6 million, international down to £7.6 million and UK store/concession sales a relatively tiny £10.5 million.
But the company said it has enough cash to continue and has started to reopen its store estate. On April 12, it reopened 36 stores and 87 concessions in England and Wales, although 20 locations remain closed in Scotland, 13 in Northern Ireland and 15 in the Republic of Ireland. Scottish stores should be able to reopen later this month.
But of the concessions currently operating, 72 are in Debenhams stores in England and Wales, which are scheduled to close by the end of May. Revenues from Debenhams UK concessions in FY 2021 amounted to only £3.4 million compared to £16.5 million a year earlier. Given that the company is no longer selling through the Debenhams website, that's a big chunk of sales that it needs to find elsewhere, although it doesn't seem to be worried and said it doesn't think this “will materially impact upon its profitability or cash flows”.
It's currently focused on “identifying and delivering new opportunities to grow revenues through its own website and store network, as well as by working with new partners appropriate for the Quiz brand”.
CEO Tarak Ramzan said: "With prolonged periods of store closures, the past 12 months has been a very challenging period for many in the UK retail sector, and Quiz has not been immune to this. However, against this difficult trading backdrop, the group has taken proactive actions to preserve cash and realign our store estate for the future retail landscape. In addition, we remain confident that there is robust underlying demand from our customers for the Quiz brand and our trademark dressy and occasionwear.”
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