A fourth quarter dip in like-for-like sales won’t stop Bonmarché’s full-year profit “sitting squarely” within analysts expectations of £12.2m to £12.6m, representing a 10% year-on-year growth, chief financial officer Stephen Alldridge told Drapers.
The business today (April 10) posted a 4% rise in like-for-like retail sales for the full year to March 28, despite like-for-likes dropping by 4.7% in the fourth quarter. Including online, like-for-likes climbed 6% across the 52-week period, but dropped 3.3% during the fourth quarter.
In a call following the value retailer’s trading update, Alldridge blamed the fourth quarter like-for-like drop on heavy discounting in the third quarter, which put shoppers off spending in the following months, and the hangover from an unseasonably mild autumn that left the retailer with more stock.
“Having had time to reflect, it was generally quite quiet for fashion retail. Weather is something we spoke about in the Christmas update, but also what I think happened was there was a lot of discounting that went on in November and December and that took some of the demand off in January and February,” he said.
Bonmarché will deliver its preliminary results on June 12, during which Alldridge said the business will reiterate its commitment to an ongoing strategy to open more stores.
“The strategy remains unchanged. We have our four key pillars: product, store environment, multichannel and stores, including in garden centres and other new locations. Each of those continues to be represent the main parts of the strategy.”
Around the same time, Bonmarché will relaunch its website to feature a fully-responsive design.