Alexon Group, which owns womenswear brands Eastex and Kaliko, posted a 12% fall in like-for-like sales for the 19 weeks to June 13 and warned short-term performance over the summer would also be hit by earlier Sale dates.
Alexon said that sales were impacted by low consumer confidence and poor weather at the start of February and added that margins experienced a small negative impact over the period because of increased discounting.
It added that earlier Sale dates, which had been prompted by key competitors discounting, continue to impact sales and margins in the short term.
Performance over the 19 week period was mixed across Alexon’s portfolio of brands. Eastex and Dash continued to trade well. Minuet, its petite brand, traded “respectably”. However, Ann Harvey had a very difficult start to the spring season after suffering from a stock to sales imbalance following major sourcing change and old stock clearance.
Alexon said: “We are, however, seeing a gradual improvement in sales on a week-by-week basis as the new ranges start [taking shape/being launched] and online sales continue to build. Kaliko and Alex & Co performed poorly over the period as they continued to suffer from the overhang of trading legacy ranges. A revised strategic approach has been planned for both Kaliko and Alex & Co. for autumn/winter 09 ranges.”
Alexon said the administration of Epcoscan, which traded as Bay Trading, on April 27, had helped provide the business with much greater financial certainty and would allow management to focus solely on the turnaround of the core Alexon brands.