Menswear group Moss Bros has said like-for-likes surged 13.4% in the 20 weeks to June 18 and has disposed of menswear chain Cecil Gee to JD Sports Fashion.
The like-for-like figure excludes the Cecil Gee business, which it sold to JD for £1.7m. (For more on the JD deal click here). The deal is in line with Moss Bros’ strategy to focus on its core Moss business. It disposed of its Hugo Boss franchise earlier this year.
Moss Bros said gross margin was “currently ahead of last year” although it added that rising raw material prices are expected to limit further improvement in the second half of the year.
Moss Bros said it “anticipates that the out turn for the full year will be ahead of current market forecasts”.
The cash proceeds from the deal will go towards funding the redevelopment of Moss branded stores, investment in the service experience, piloting an appropriate roll out of new initiatives such as Moss Bespoke and the development of a customer relationship management system to leverage the value of the hire business.
Moss Bros chief executive Brian Brick said: “This is another significant milestone in delivering the strategy we set out of leveraging the core Moss business.
“Having restored the quality of our product offering and continued the strong momentum in positive like-for-like sales, this transaction will give us the opportunity to accelerate investment and development of the brands which we own, from a position of operational focus and financial strength.
“Although we are ever mindful of the fragile trading conditions in the UK, we are making good progress towards leadership of the attractive niche which we have as the UK’s number 1 branded suit specialist.”