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Moss Bros targets digital growth

Moss Bros is planning a series of digital initiatives in the coming months as it targets significant ecommerce growth.

The menswear retailer, which today revealed six month sales growth of 5.7%, is prioritising investment into the digital channel in a bid to build online revenues.

Currently ecommerce accounts for just 1.7% of overall turnover. The aim is to build that to 10% over the next three-to-five years.

Robin Piggott, finance director and company secretary, acknowledged Moss Bros was behind the market.

“We are still a relatively early stage in ecommerce,” he said. “Last year our sales increase 100% and this year we’re up 45%, but even so it still makes up a small part of the overall business – just 1.7%.”

Recently Neil Sanson was hired as ecommerce director. Under his aegis, the company is planning to launch a new platform ahead of Christmas and will take its hire business online for the first time in the first quarter of next year.

The site will also be used to spearhead Moss Bros’ international expansion, although this is not a priority currently.

But bricks and mortar also represent a key area of investment, with management stumping up £11m to refit 90 stores throughout the country.

Piggott said he was targeting a three-year pay back from the initial outlay, and was expecting an 8% increase in sales for the shops receiving the make-over.

Chief executive Brian Brick also outlined plans to increase the turnaround of stock in Moss Bros’ fashion division, a pattern that several menswear retailers are following.

“There’s no doubt about it – newness sells,” he told Drapers. “It gives the customer a reason to purchase and makes your offer look fresher.”

Although the balance is unlikely to see a “dramatic” change, Brick said he would be working more closely with existing suppliers to get new product in earlier every season.

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