Alexon, the mainstream womenswear retailer, said half-year like-for-like sales fell 12.6% as it reported a pretax loss and said recent trading had been “challenging”.
The retailer, which owns chains Eastex, Ann Harvey, Kaliko, Dash and Minuet, reported a pretax loss of £8.1m for the 26 weeks to August 1, compared with a pretax profit of £6.9m a year earlier.
Alexon chief executive, Jane McNally, said the results were in line with expectations and said a new management team would help to revitalise their brands in the medium term.
“Trading since the half year has been challenging,” she said. “This is mainly as a result of our strategy to have less sales activity and partly due to the tough retail environment. However we believe that overall performance is stabilising and is being aided by some of our recent initiatives including the new store and concession refits as well as increased space.”
The company said it had strengthened its management team and improved buying policies and minimised excess aged stock, and was making good progress on medium-term goal, including refitting 24 concession store outlets in House of Fraser stores and the launch of a new Ann Harvey store format in London’s Oxford Street.
Alexon added that there were “no issues” with host department stores as a result of the administration of Bay Trading, which was bought out of administration by supplier Rinku Group. It predicted that £1.3m will be received in the second half of the year from amounts secured against Bay Trading’s assets. £1m of this is in repayment of the April 30 payroll paid by Alexon to Bay Trading employees following the appointment of administrators to facilitate a sale of the business.