Thursday 16 January 2020 11:08 am

Moss Bros' transformation plan progresses despite sales slump

Suit retailer Moss Bros said this morning that it is making headway with its transformation plan, despite reporting a dip in sales.

The menswear store said it has made “good progress overall” in its bid to elevate the brand and improve long-term performance. 

Moss Bros said it has improved its retail gross margin rates in the 24 weeks to 11 January by selling at full price with less old season stock to clear. 

The group expects to report a full-year adjusted loss before tax of £1m.

Moss Bros chief executive Brian Brick said: “We have seen more intensive discounting from our competitors and a materially lower level of footfall across the high streets and shopping centres of the UK. 

“Despite this, we have resisted discounting pressures, facilitated by our careful buying plans which have meant that we are holding lower levels of terminal stock to clear. 

“This has been particularly evident in our High Street stores where we were able to focus on delivering our core purpose of styling individuals for on form moments.”

On a like-for-like basis sales fell 3.2 per cent, and online sales dropped 0.4 per cent compared to last year. 

The company said it expects to end the year debt free, with a cash balance of around £12m. However, it warned that it expects market conditions to remain challenging. 

Brick added: “Despite the delivery of progress against our strategic levers, we anticipate the year ahead will continue to be challenging until we see an improvement in consumer confidence and a stabilisation in footfall across UK shopping destinations combined with a re-alignment of occupancy costs to properly balance the costs and rewards of doing business in physical retail stores.”