The Kaliko, Alexon and Eastex businesses helped Alexon Group to achieve flat like-for-like sales for the 22 weeks to July 2.
The womenswear group’s like-for-likes edged up 0.9% over the period, which it described as a “creditable performance” despite lower footfall in June and the difficult trading conditions. However margins slipped back due to increased promotional activity.
It added that strong trading on Kaliko, Alexon and Eastex off set negatives performances by casual brands Dash, which continues to be impacted by high cotton prices, and Minuet. Plus-sized womenswear brand Ann Harvey remained broadly flat although its new casual range showed “encouraging signs.”
The group said the performance of its concession business was polarised with outlets in stores with established web platforms and active marketing delivering better sales.
Online sales continued to soar, growing by 115% over the period and catalogue sales on Eastex and Dash brand, though still small, have exceeded the retailer’s expectations and the chain will grow this channel for its more classic brands.
Alexon said its turnaround, focusing on restructuring its store portfolio, developing its brands and accelerating its e-commerce business, continued to make “good progress”. It added that it is exploring new financing options to invest into the next stages of the strategy.
The group is assessing financing options after its ability to invest in its turnaround plan, which also includes an overhaul of its systems, was hindered by trading losses last December.
The group said its refurbishment programme was bearing fruit and had delivered good sales and a margin uplift. However, refurbishment would be limited by the need to conserve cash. It also continues to reshape its property portfolio, and is proposing the sale of its two former warehouses in Milton Keynes and Cardiff.