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Reiss ponders entry price cut to tempt customers

Premium business Reiss will look to broaden its customer base next year to beat the economic downturn.

Reiss, which has 100 stores globally, said it was considering lowering entry price points and focusing on creating a stronger brand profile through new marketing initiatives.

Reiss this week reported an 18% increase in sales to £67 million for the year to January 31.

Finance director Steven Downes declined to give sales figures for the current year but said recent trade had been “challenging”. He said the business was more likely to look at long-term pricing and limited promotions rather than focus on Sales.

“I can understand why retailers are doing it [promotions] now, but it’s a short-term thing and the high street can’t discount forever,” said Downes. “We’ll be looking at being keener on some prices to broaden the customer base.”

He said Reiss was developing a branding and marketing strategy under brand director Andy Rogers. “We’ll be making sure we push Reiss as a brand so the product has an even stronger identity and handwriting. Our mentality is to be a brand [not just a retailer],” said Downes.

Although sales increased last year, operating profit fell 10% to £8.8m because of increased costs of global expansion.

EBITDA fell to £11.9m from £12.5m in 2007, excluding losses from Reiss’s US operation which grew from £700,000 to £2.3m.

Reiss moved to new headquarters in central London and set up a US headquarters and distribution centre last year. Reiss intends to grow to 250 stores worldwide, but Downes said the business would slow down its store openings next year.

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