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Profits plunge at Bonmarché

Bonmarché’s profit before tax and exceptions fell 63% year-on-year to £2m for the 26 weeks to 24 September.



Total sales fell 4% to £93.1m while store like-for-like sales dropped 8.6%. Online sales were down 1.1% in the half but were up 2.3% in the second quarter.

The value retailer said there was a 30 basis points increase in product gross margin despite higher discounting at the business.

Net cash at the retailer almost halved from £18.6m in 2015 to £9.8m.

However the business said there has been “encouraging” recent performances from outerwear and knitwear. The firm has also simplified its customer model from four personas to one.

During the half, Bonmarché opened 12 new stores and concessions and relocated three. It also completed a programme of replacing all store fascias.

Helen Connolly, new chief executive of Bonmarché, said: “I believe that Bonmarché has significant potential to grow as a retailer serving the 50 plus women’s value clothing market, a belief that has strengthened with my continued exposure to the business.

“Work has already begun, to modernise and simplify our operations and improve basic disciplines - key foundations for the more strategic priorities of developing the customer proposition and improving customer journeys.

I have been encouraged by the enthusiasm and commitment of the Bonmarché team, and remain confident that despite the difficult trading conditions, the business will resume growth during 2017.”


Readers' comments (3)

  • Helen Connolly has her work cut out. I give her a year and she will regret leaving her previous role. The strategy of 50+ customer shopping in Bonmarche is flawed. The modern 50 year old woman has a younger attitude and does not want to shop in the brand. The challenge they have is the roots of the business is much older in age but is really a declining market. Very tough job!

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  • And the band struck up a Queen and David Bowie classic!

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  • Decent Man

    Bonmarche is a fantastic brand name, and always associated with quality. All Bonmarche have to do is to take a trip to Liberty on Regent Street and the future will be so much clearer for them.

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