British high street retailer Austin Reed is still experiencing difficulty in boosting its County Casuals womenswear unit, although sales at it core namesake chain were showing promising growth.
The group reported a drop in full-year same-store sales at Country Casuals of 8 per cent to GBP51.4 million. Meanwhile, Austin Reed sales increased 7 per cent, while its Regent Street store experienced an 18 per cent growth. Total annual sales remained fixed at GBP 111.5 million.
Pre-tax losses for the group totalled GBP 1.9 million compared with GBP 1.4 million the year before. The company did say, however, that action undertaken throughout the year had sent the business back into profitability in the second half of the year.
Same-store sales for the first ten weeks of the new financial year fell 6 per cent. The company has been taking steps to modernise Country Casuals division in an effort to attract the 40+ market. “The full effect of repositioning this brand won’t be seen until the second half of the financial year,” said chief executive Nick Hollingworth.