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Sales grow at N Brown

Internet and home shopping retailer N Brown has revealed an increase in group sales of 8.5% for the 19 weeks to January 12, 2013.

Like-for-like revenue during the period, which excludes sales from stores opened in the last 12 months, was up by 7.9% while online sales continued to grow, up by 17% and now accounting for almost 54% of total revenue.

The parent company of retailers including Jacamo, Simply Be and Figleaves said the strongest sales during the period came from brands targeted at its customers aged under 50 as well as from menswear and footwear.

In addition, better stock control is said to have led to lower levels of markdown on womenswear.

The business has worked to recruit new customers during the period, investing £2m over the original budget in doing so.

Sales gained from these new customers were at a lower margin due to them being offered introductory discounts, but it is hoped that they will continue to drive the business forward during the next financial year now that they are on board.

N Brown said it has continued to invest in markets outside the UK, particularly the USA where its plus-size Jacamo and Simply Be concept stores are showing “promising signs”.

“It has been pleasing to see our investments in improved online systems, more customer recruitment and revamped product ranges and pricing continuing to drive a strong sales momentum, despite the lacklustre retail environment,” said N Brown chief executive Alan White.

Looking ahead N Brown said it expects its guidance for the full-year to March 2 to remain broadly in line with the board’s expectations.

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