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White Stuff pulls out of Denmark as profits slide

Full year sales at lifestyle retailer White Stuff grew by 6.2% to £153.6m while underlying EBITDA plunged by 29% to £15m on the back of “increased investment” in the business.

The retailer said it will withdraw from Denmark, closing its two stores in the country on 2 September, in order to increase its focus on opportunities in the German market.

Retail sales for the year to 29 April grew 5% to £102.2m, while online sales rose by 10% to £42.3m. The wholesale business also increased by 5% to account for £9.1m of sales.

International sales were up 41.9% during the year.

White Stuff opened 32 new shops and concessions during the year, with 18 based in the UK, nine in Germany, three in Belgium and two in Italy. It closed its concession at department store Elys of Wimbledon.

The retailer ended the year with 131 stores, 53 concessions, 270 UK wholesale stockists and 470 international wholesale stockists.

The retailer said it plans to open two UK shops and relocate one in the current financial year.

A new web platform will launch in the autumn, and the business said it is entering a “significant phase of investment as well as a ‘test and learn’ mentality across all channels”.

The retailer added it wants to create an “innovative” product offering, as sourcing continues to be affected by Brexit uncertainty and fluctuating currency rates.

White Stuff confirmed it made 28 redundancies across “a number of departments” at its head office, which Drapers exclusively reported last month.

It said: “Like many retailers, we have faced a challenging trading environment since the start of our new financial year.

“The perceived uncertainty created in our consumer’s mind by Brexit and the factual reality of external headwinds created by the living wage, pension costs and exchange rates, have required us to realign the business to its future needs. This has unfortunately resulted in a number of redundancies at our head office. Our priority remains to put the customer first.”

The news comes as chief executive Jeremy Seigal prepares to leave the business. He will depart by 31 December, unless his successor is recruited before then.

 

Readers' comments (1)

  • White stuff , crew, joules,Boden et al could all be much more profitable if their retail customer didn't always know they are always a month away from at least 20% off online !

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