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Retail sales up and ‘positive growth’ for hire at Moss Bros

Sales at menswear group Moss Bros grew 6.4% in the 15 weeks to May 16 with like-for-likes up 7.4%, underpinned by the strong performance of its retail business.

Like-for-like retail sales, including ecommerce, were up 7.6%. The group said the new season’s ranges were performing well. Retail gross margins are ahead of last year thanks to the earlier clearance of residual stock.

Ecommerce sales continue to grow, up 64.9% on last year and now comprising 10% of total sales – up from 6.5% in the same period last year.

Sales through mobile devices now make up 17% of ecommerce sales, up from 9% last year.

Meanwhile, the suit hire arm of the business, which posted a 3.6% drop in like-for-like hire sales for the year to January 31, “continues to show positive growth”, the group said.

Eleven Moss Bros shops have been refitted so far this year, bringing the number of stores trading in the new format to 69 out of 128.

Chief executive Brian Brick said: “Retail sales and margins have continued to improve, boosted by the increasing contribution from refitted stores and the lower levels of residual stock.

“Hire sales continue to show the improvement seen earlier in the season and are showing good growth on the prior year. Ecommerce sales in the first 15 weeks of the year continue to grow, reflecting our continuing investment in systems and infrastructure. This is another good period of progress for Moss Bros and we continue to remain confident about our medium-term growth prospects.”

The group will hold its annual general meeting later today. Its interim results will be announced on September 29.



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