Quiz trading update shows improvement, but challenges remain
There was some welcome news for Quiz on Monday — among news of ongoing challenges — as the womenswear retailer said trading in the quarter to June 30 improved.
But it continued to be affected by the pandemic due to the closure of stores and concessions for part of the period and because demand for the group's signature going-out looks continued to be “negatively impacted by the various restrictions on social activities and events”.
Total sales reached £17.3 million, which may not sound like a lot, but the figure was in line with the board’s expectations and was £13.1 million more than it generated in the same period a year ago. It divided down into £6.4 million generated online (which was nearly double the year-ago figure), £7.3 million from UK stores and concessions, and £3.7 million from international sales.
Sales through its own websites totalled £4.6m (up from £2.2 million this time last year) with revenues steadily improving through the period. Sales through third-party websites totalled £1.8 million, with this channel impacted by the end of sales through the Debenhams website from early April.
The company was hurt by stores being closed during the latest quarter, although the fact that they were allowed to reopen from April was good news given that they were closed for just about the entire quarter in the year-ago period. As of June 30 2021, it had 13 fewer stores than just before the first lockdown in 2020 because it has closed a number of locations. And rents for the chain today are largely based on revenues, with the company having renegotiated its rent deals.
The company also operates 45 UK concessions, which is a big drop from the 143 it operated a year earlier in a very different world.
International revenues from stores and concessions operated by the group amounted to £0.6 million, again, not a huge figure but vastly improved compare to the £0.1 million of a year earlier. It has five international stores and 15 international concessions, all in Ireland, which were closed at the start of the period and reopened in mid-May. A year ago it had seven stores and 22 concessions in Ireland.
Revenues from international franchise partners in the period rose to £3.1 million from £0.4 million and Quiz said it “continues to pursue opportunities for long-term International growth and is confident that this can be achieved”.
Also on an upbeat note, it said it’s “pleased with the gross margins generated in during the period which compare favourably to those generated in both 2020 and 2019”.
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