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Moss Bros adds suits to revamped website

Moss Bros will relaunch its Moss website to offer a full range of suiting and casualwear online from next month.
The company, which runs the Moss and Cecil Gee chains, previously sold a selection of shirts and ties via its Moss Direct website.
But chief executive Philip Mountford said that the new Moss website would feature almost all of the Moss Bros own labels, including Ventuno 21 and Canali, as well as its hire service.

The business also sells brands including Féraud and Pierre Cardin, and has introduced French Connection and CK by Calvin Klein suiting into stores this year.

Mountford said: “We hope the website will produce the same kind of turnover as one of our big stores.” It will also feature fashion advice and style tips for men from guest writers.

The retailer is currently undergoing a wide-ranging strategic review. Trading in the first eight weeks of the second half from July 28 was mixed, with the company blaming the impact of bad weather on its hire business.

Like-for-like sales at stores for the same period were up 0.8%, with total group like-for-like sales flat.

The group swung to a loss of £796,000 for the six months to July 28, against a pre-tax profit of £105,000 the previous year. Sales fell slightly to £62.93 million from £63.27m.

Mountford said the average price of a suit at Moss had risen slightly and that he was slimming down its offer of suits priced between £150 and £199 to move away from competition from middle-market and value retailers.

He said: “The real growth areas are £200 to £300 and £99 to £149. We’ll use more of an open-to-buy policy to make sure we keep the offer contemporary.”

The company is also rethinking its Cecil Gee portfolio and will close its Cecil Gee store in London’s Oxford Street. It is also likely to close its Kensington High Street store in London.

Mountford said: “I don’t want any Cecil Gee stores in London. They aren’t the right kind of spaces. It works best in the likes of Bluewater, and large shopping centres such as that.”

Meanwhile, Moss Bros opened its first Simon Carter franchise store last month.

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