Menswear firm Moss Bros has seen how a strong online push helped lift sales and profits after a week start to the year for the menswear retailer. Online sales accounts for 3.3 percent of its total sales, up from 1.4 percent on a yearly basis.
Suits and formal attire retailer has launched its new retail website in last January, seeing an impressive jump of online sales of 138 percent year-on-year in the 18 weeks from the end of January to the start of June.
The online sales push boosted like-for-like sales up 0.3 percent, somehow helping to balance the 6.2 percent slump in suit hire sales with a 2 percent rise in retail sales.
According to the company, Moss Bros has so far concentrated on selling suits and shirts online, yet it plans to launch a hire website in September to offer a “fully-integrated omni-channel customer experience”.
CEO Brian Brick said in an interview with ‘City A.M.’ that hire sales will continue to be “volatile” for the rest of the year as it comes up against unusual trading patterns caused by the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee and Olympics last year. “Last year was a very odd year for hire because a lot of people tried to avoid the peak period for hire, when the Olympics were taking place – people had weddings earlier or later to avoid that peak time,” he told the London journal.
However, Brick remains optimist and confident in the company’s new approach: “Although we remain cautious about the general economic environment we believe our strategy of refitting stores, investing in e-commerce infrastructure and focusing on our target market and customer offer will strengthen the Moss Bros brand.”
Online sales lead growth
The firm’s strongest performance was in online sales, following the launch of its new retail platform in January.
Online sales now comprise 3.3 percent of Moss Bros total sales, up from 1.4 percent a year earlier. Underlying profits also strengthened, 0.6 percent on a yearly basis and compared with a 2.4 percent fall in the first seven weeks of the period.
Moss now trades from 24 new format stores after refitting 18 and adding six new outlets.
Shares in the group traded at a rise, adding 2 percent following the update, but have lost some of their momentum since the start of the year.
Freddie George, analyst at Cantor Fitzgerald, said: “Prospects will now become more dependent on the outlook for the internet platform. The company, we believe, should be able to exploit its unique proposition.
“It has privileged information on its customers, will have a skilled pool of labour with tailoring experience and has a national store network,” he added.
Source: Fashion Unit.