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Crew Clothing slips into the red following online investment

Crew Clothing’s sales increased by 12% to £59.2m but it made a loss of £106,828 for the year to October 26, 2014, compared to a profit of £30,304 during the previous year.

The casualwear retailer said it invested in key areas of infrastructure during the year to meet the changing expectations of its customers, who increasingly want to shop online, which led to the fall in profits.

“This ongoing investment will provide the platform for the future growth of the business, with logistics and information technology being strengthened during the year,” it said. “Both areas have made good progress and the steps taken were in line with the strategic plans of the business.”

Crew Clothing, which was founded by professional skier and windsurfer Alastair Parker-Swift in 1993, has 76 stores, concessions in John Lewis and sells online. It plans to open between 10 and 15 stores over the next couple of years.

Former Joules chairman and Fat Face chief executive Louise Barnes took over the reins at Crew Clothing in September last year, replacing Octavia Morley who stepped down. Parker-Swift remains a director.

It also hired Cath Kidston former strategy and ecommerce director Amy Bastow as commercial director in March 2014, to focus on the growth of its multichannel business.

The retailer is currently owned by private equity firm Living Bridge.

@Tara_Hounslea

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