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Full year sales slip at Shoe Zone

Sales slipped 4.2% to £159.8m at Shoe Zone for the year to 1 October as a result of planned store closures and difficult trading conditions.

Profit before tax for the period edged up 1.1% to £10.3m, while product gross margin strengthened to 62% from 61.5% in 2015.

During the year the average transaction value improved by 5% and footwear orders placed with factories overseas increased to 72.2% from 62.1%.

The retailer opened 17 new stores, including 10 relocations during the year and completed 41 refits.

The firm opened two larger format stores under the “big box” store trial and the performance was “encouraging”.

In the period online operations moved to a dedicated distribution zone which improved efficiency and since the end of the financial year the retailer has started trading on Amazon in France, Germany, Spain and Italy.

Nick Davis, chief executive of Shoe Zone, said: “The Group’s new branding is resonating well with our customer base and we will continue to update the estate through our store rationalisation and refit programme. Our Big Box trial, which started in August 2016, is delivering encouraging results while attracting a broader customer demographic and we plan to open a further six new stores across the UK in 2017.

“We continue to make good progress on our strategic objectives and have traded in line with expectations for the first quarter of the year.”

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