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Back-in-profit Moss Bros to invest in multichannel

Menswear group Moss Bros has announced it will bolster its multichannel offering next year after posting a return to profit.

It is set to add its Moss Hire and Bespoke businesses to its transactional website. At present only the Moss Retail arm is available to buy online. The retailer is also planning to launch a click-and-collect service across all its stores.

The group has begun an 18-month project on its multichannel strategy, in which it will invest about £1.2m on systems.

Although internet sales account for just 1% of total sales, chief executive Brian Brick said there was significant scope to grow sales and profits.

This week, Moss Bros recorded a pre-tax profit of £2.2m in the six months to July 30, compared with a £2.8m loss last year. EBITDA grew to £4.2m, against a £200,000 loss last year, which the group put down to improved sales and reduced head office costs. Total revenues including VAT were up 17.3% in the six months to £51.8m and like-for-like sales rose 15.4%.

Brick said that the group’s growth over the six months was an accumulation of work over the past few years.

Moss Hire experienced record sales during the period, as the business benefited from a new distribution service and continued investment in stock.

At the hire service, like-for-likes rose 12.4%, which Brick said was aided by London Mayor Boris Johnson proclaiming that he was wearing a Moss Bros suit for the royal wedding.

In the eight weeks to September 24, trading had “continued to be encouraging” with strong like-for-like sales, added Brick.

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