The wedding market has struggled over the past two years amid a tough economic climate, summer events such as the World Cup and more couples saving up to get their foot on the property ladder.
This had a knock-on effect on Moss Bros’ hire business, with like-for-like sales falling by 3.6 per cent in the year..
However, chief executive Brian Brick said that sales were now picking up after it launched its online hire business last year and introduced new, and more contemporary, products.
“It is the first time we have put lounge suits into the hire business. While there is still demand for morning suits, we found that with the change in style and a the growing interest in tailoring that there would be a demand for lounge suits [at weddings],” Brick said.
But where hire struggled, Moss Bros made up for at its core retail business, with like-for-like sales up by 7.1 per cent in the year to 31 January. Profit before tax was up nine per cent at £4.8m on revenues up 5.2 per cent to £114.7m. Meanwhile, online sales rocketed up by 58.9 per cent.
The retailer strengthened its brand last year by its Dehavilland, Blazer and Ventuno brands Moss London, Moss Esq. and Moss 1851.
It also revamped a further 14 stores and plans to almost double the number of refits this year to 27, including its Oxford Street flagship.