Footwear retailer Shoon is back in the black and is planning to almost double its retail footprint, almost a year after it entered a company voluntary arrangement (CVA).
As exclusively revealed by Drapers last May, Shoon’s CVA proposal was approved by more than 80% of unsecured creditors.
The firm is now making a “small profit” and sales are up 2% to 3% on last year, according to managing director Mark Pinnock. Shoon made a pre-tax loss of £1.3m on sales of £8.3m for the year to February 1, 2014, according to the most recent accounts filed at Companies House.
“It has been a very challenging year in retail and the high street is suffering, but we‘re back in the black so we are pleased,” Pinnock added. “Trade at the moment is slow as our customer isn’t looking for summer product yet, but we are in a better place in terms of stock than this time last year.
“Sales are up slightly, but I wanted a 10% increase so we are behind where I’d like to be.”
Shoon closed one store in St Albans in March. It now has nine stores and four concessions, and plans to open a new store in ”a busier location” in St Albans this summer.
Pinnock said he intends to open a further three shops this year in southeast England. He has his eye on six stores in other locations across the UK for 2017.
“We are looking at any area that has the right shopper demographic for us,” he explained. Shoon’s target shopper is a woman over the age 40.
Pinnock said he was also working on ”footwear related acquisitions” that will complement Shoon’s existing offer. The website will be relaunched in the coming weeks.
The CVA was approved by 90% of suppliers and 70% of landlords just a month after Pinnock bought the retailer with backing from investment firm Tnui Asset Finance from industry veterans Ken Bartle and Peter Phillips.
Pinnock said he cut costs in senior management, IT and logistics: “It was key for me to look at the cost base and address it. Fortunately it didn’t hit existing stores and staff.” Shoon now employs 150 people, down from 160 when Pinnock joined the firm.
He said: “The team in Somerset have been fantastic and suppliers have been great. They are very supportive and collaborative about working together in the future.”