French Connection shares fell almost 14 per cent yesterday as the retailer struck a cautious note over the crucial Christmas period ahead, even as losses narrowed in the in the first half of the year.
The clothes retailer has been trying to reverse its fortune after years of weak sales by cutting back on the amount of stock it sells on sale, closing loss-making stores and readjusting its pricing after being viewed as too costly. It also brought in a new design team last year.
Pre-tax losses for the six months to end of July declined to £3.9m from £6.1m in the same period last year, but sales fell 6.6 per cent to £84m as a result of store closures.
French Connection’s founder Stephen Marks said that while he was always cautious going into Christmas, he had full confidence in its range:
“We have got a great Christmas range. We sold it really well at wholesale and we are hoping when it goes into the shop people will react really well.”