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N Brown hails online surge

N Brown, the home shopping group, says that half of its sales will come from the internet within three years thanks to the surge in online shopping.

Web sales now account for 31% of N Brown’s turnover, which is a 45% increase in value.

Chief executive Alan White said sales would continue to shift towards a 50:50 split but that the company’s catalogues would be a key driver, with more shoppers browsing hard copy books and then ordering online.

“Although sales coming from online are set to increase, we still see catalogue as the biggest driver of online sales,” he said.
At N Brown’s AGM this week, White said the online offer had helped boost sales by 12.3% in the 17 weeks to June 28.

The retailer, which focuses on plus-size clothing and niche fashions for older women, said sales were particularly strong during May’s sunny spell, which coincided with the mailing of its summer catalogues.

N Brown said it had benefited by investing in new brands including its Simply Yours, Marisota, Jacamo and Nightingales websites and catalogues. It added that menswear showed the fastest growth but womenswear sales were also encouraging.

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