M&Co bucks the trend with sales rise
Clothing retailer M&Co, one of the UK’s largest privately-owned fashion chains, has defied the gloom on the high street with a 5.4% sales increase for the year to February 2018.
The brand, which caters for women aged 40 and over and their families, attributed its growth to the opening of new stores, refurbishment of existing locations and investments in more tech capabilities, as well as its marketing initiatives.
During the 12-month period, the brand made revenues of £211.4 million, up 5.4% on the previous year, with store like-for-like sales rising by 2.4% and online sales up 18.3%.
But profit growth was nearly flat as a result of its investments, maintained at £6.0m.
CEO Andy McGeoch was upbeat when revealing the sales growth, saying: “As we navigate the complexities of the current market and in light of recent announcements from UK retailers, it is hugely encouraging to see this growth. With store closures from some of the UK’s largest brands, local high streets become a more attractive opportunity as we continue to strategically invest in our store portfolio.”
The chain added 18 new stores in “target” cities and town centres during the year and is carrying out refurbishments to modernise its existing shops. It also purchased further freehold properties, taking the total number of directly-owned stores to more than 25% of its retail estate.
The company anticipates a reduction in its debt level over the coming year, which will allow it to invest in further opportunities. Key priorities are customer insights to understand customer preferences and tailor the product offer, and marketing and advertising initiatives such as the M&Co Loyalty Scheme which now has 2.5 million members.
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