Gerry Weber sales fall again but Hallhuber shines
Q1 doesn’t look to have been any kinder to Gerry Weber than its previous financial year was with the German company saying this week that the three months to January 31 saw its sales falling - again.
But dig a little deeper and we can see that there was some good news among the bad with the Hallhuber brand outperforming both on a total and comparable sales basis.
Hallhuber strode ahead with an almost 18% total sales rise to €59 million while comp sales rose a healthy 5.5%. It may be the smaller brand for now, but if it continues its current trajectory, it won’t be long before it catches up.
And if the firm’s other labels continue their current downwards shift then that catching up could happen sooner than expected. Overall company sales fell to almost €190 million from just over €209 million a year ago. The Gerry Weber brand (which is a stalwart of middle market womenswear stores across Europe) and the linked Taifun and Samoon labels fell to nearly €131 million from just over €159 million this time last year.
Core Retail segment sales for the combined Gerry Weber, Taifun and Samoon businesses fell 19% to €80.6m as store closures made an impact. But the drop wasn’t only about shuttering under-performing locations as comp sales also fell 8.8%
So what went wrong for the core brands in Q1? Well, as mentioned, stores were shut so that dented turnover. But merchandise deliveries falling in Q2 this year after they were in Q1 a year ago also had an effect.
And the company is still transitioning to its new merchandise management system that should allow it to react faster to changes in shopper taste.
Wholesale segment sales dropped to €50.2m from €59.5m partly because of that delivery shift, but the company said it expects wholesale “to remain stable”.
On the upside though, online sales for the core segment rose 8.8% in the quarter to €7.4 million.
And why is Hallhuber also doing well? It seems that a mixture of more stores (it opened its 400th only a week ago) and a focus on e-tail was behind the growth with its online sales almost doubling to €8 million.
Group CEO Ralf Weber said Q1 “clearly shows that our decision to develop a performance programme was right” and he stuck to the firm’s forecast of stable consolidated sales of between €870 million to €890 million for the full year.
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