Fenwick losses widen but finances remain strong
Struggling British department store Fenwick saw its losses growing prior to the pandemic downturn, it has been revealed. The family-owned retailer said that its losses widened to £47.3 million in the 12 months to the end of January this year as it faced an "extremely challenging" period.
And the challenges have only got greater since then with the company also warning of another large loss in the current year, even though it added that trading has been better than it had expected in the difficult circumstances and that its financial foundations remain "strong".
Its net sales dropped 9% to £271.5 million, but the company said that beauty and food were positive areas.
The almost-140-year-old company has nine department stores and employs 1,900 people. It has suffered in recent years along with the rest of the department stores sector and had been working on its turnaround, which included a very late entry into the e-commerce market.
During the lockdown, the company saw the departure of its CEO Robbie Feather and its chairman Richard Pennycook, with speculation that this was a sign of the founding family seeking to take back more control. That said, the replacements also came from outside of the family with John Edgar named as CEO and Steve Barber chairman.
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