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Reiss EBITDA fall despite sales rise

Reiss recorded a decline in EBITDA last year as the global banking crisis took its toll on the 99-store chain’s second half performance.

Sales at Reiss increased 21% to £81m during the full year to January 31, 2009 while EBITDA fell from £11.9m to £8.5m.

The difficult trading climate, triggered by the collapse of Lehman Brothers, prompted the contemporary chain to launch sub-brand 1971 Reiss, which is geared towards a younger customer at a more recession-friendly price point.

The range – which is in all stores – is hitting sales targets and represents 20% of sales across the business.

Reiss has unveiled a new shop concept incorporating a “less formal” design to reflect the design aesthetic of 1971 Reiss.

The new-look shopfit – spearheaded by Reiss brand director Andy Rogers – will open at the chain’s Liverpool One store this week and in Cardiff, Hong Kong and Dubai in February.

Rogers added that Reiss would not go on Sale before Christmas this year, after its discounting strategy last year in reaction to price-cutting on the high street hit margins.

Trading at Reiss during 2009 has “continued to improve”.

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