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Moss Bros online sales jump by 115%

Moss Bros has posted a 115% rise in online sales for the first quarter of 2014 compared with the same period last year, with more men from the UK and abroad choosing to hire and buy suits online.

The menswear retailer announced total sales for the 16-week period from 26 January 2014 to 17 May increased by 5.4% on the same period last year. Like-for-like sales were up 6.3%.

Including ecommerce, like-for-like retail sales were up 8.5%. However, hire sales were 3.8% lower, with Moss Bros blaming “a subdued wedding market” for the drop in sales.

Like-for-like cash gross profits were up 6% on last year. The results come after Moss Bros posted a 42% rise in pre-tax profits for the year to January 25, 2014.

The success of the company’s ecommerce has been attributed to the ongoing development of its retail website and increasing interest from overseas customers, with country-specific sites now in place for Eire, Sweden, Denmark, the Netherlands and Australia. International customers now make up around 6% of online sales. Total e-commerce sales now comprise 6.5% of total sales, compared with 3.3% for the same period last year.

A store refit programme in the UK is also ongoing, with Moss Bros saying that the new-format stores continue to trade ahead of non-refitted stores.

Chief executive Brian Brick said: “Retail sales and margins have continued to improve, boosted by the increasing contribution from refitted stores and the lower levels of residual stock. Hire sales are below last year’s levels, although, being 16% of overall group sales, the impact of this shortfall is more than offset by the strong performance on retail.”

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