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SuperGroup warehouse glitch slows sales growth

SuperGroup sales growth slowed in its three months to October 30 as its warehouse glitch takes its toll on sales.

Total sales jumped to 42% to £82m in its second quarter, compared to a 66% jump in the first, as the operational problem took effect.

Retail sales rose 23% to £40m, compared to a 51% jump the previous quarter.

The retailer revealed last month that it suffered a “significant, temporary reduction both in the amount of stock and range of sizes reaching its UK stores” during the implementation of a systems upgrade at its premises in Barnwood, Gloucestershire. The fashion brand expects the fault to hit profits by £6m to £9m.

SuperGroup chief executive Julian Dunkerton said: “While this has been a demanding period for SuperGroup logistically, we are well on the road to rectifying the situation and have learned valuable lessons in the process. These changes to our UK distribution capability are vital to the future success of this business.” 

The retailer said that progress had been made to restore the replenishment capability with further improvements expected during November.

SuperGroup said it had seen an improving sales trend since its last update as it has moved back to normal replenishment. Dunkerton warned that the consumer environment remains uncertain however the fashion boss was confident in future growth.

The retailer said its online sales, which only experienced minor disruption, had shown “strong trading”.

Its wholesale operation was unaffected by the glitch and sales soared 67% to £42m over the period. This compares to a 98% to £21m in wholesale in its first quarter.

The fashion retailer’s UK rollout continued with 12 new stores opening in the first half bringing its total to 72. A further four are set to open before Christmas and its flagship store on Regent Street, which it acquired from Austin Reed in May, will be fully open by the end of the financial year.

A further 11 wholesale accounts were opened over the period bringing the total to 1011.

Total group sales for the year have leaped 51% to £136m, with retail sales up 34% to £73m.

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