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Moss Bros axes COO role

Menswear retailer Moss Bros has shed the chief operating officer position, it has emerged.

The business axed the chief operating officer role last month, less than two years after appointing former Ann Summers managing director Paula Minowa to the newly created role.

Chief executive Brian Brick told Drapers the retailer decided it “wasn’t a role required in the business”, so it “flattened” its management structure by eliminating the position.

“In today’s world, you need to be agile,” said Brick. 

Minowa left the business in August. Her previous roles include chief executive at German clothing and homewares retailer Strauss Innovation and brand and communications director at Asda. At Moss Bros her remit covered the customer journey across all channels and markets.

The news comes as the retailer posted a healthy set of results for the 26 weeks to 29 July, with pre-tax profits rising by 15.7% to £4.2m and group like-for-like sales up 2.8%.

Like-for-like retail sales also grew, increasing by 5.1%. Total group revenue was up 4.3% on the previous year, to £66.6m.

Moss Bros opened four new stores, relocated two and closed two during the period.

Brick said Moss Bros has consolidated its supply base to remain competitive, reducing its supplier count in core areas by 20% and working with fewer mills.

Brick said: “We’ve been looking carefully at our cost base, and what we invest and don’t invest in. We’re not the only [retailers] in that basket.”

He added that “many” starting price points have been kept the same.

Moss Bros said that for the eight weeks to 23 September, total retail sales were up 4.7% while like-for-like sales grew by 3.5%.

Brick said: “It’s been tough out there, but the business is in a good position with a strong balance sheet.”

Moss Bros noted that the effects of the fluctuating currency rate will be seen in the second half of the financial year.


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