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London - Shop Direct, parent company of Very.co.uk and Littlewoods.co.uk, revealed a loss of 10.7 million pounds for the nine months to March 31, 2018 - putting the multi-brand retailer in the red.

The loss hits hard when compared to Shop Direct's 57.4 million pound profit for the same period last year. However, Shop Direct has attributed part of its loss to regulatory costs of 100 million, which it has set aside to pay PPI claims as the deadline has been extended to August next year by regulators.

PPI, or payment protection insurance, is usually sold with credit cards, store cards, and loans, but it was found to be often mis-sold. Shop Direct, which offers customers the option to pay using store credit, paid out close to 80 million pounds to customers during the nine months ending March.

Outside of its loss, Shop Direct reported a 1.6 percent increase in group revenue to 1.51 billion pounds, boosted by Very.co.uk, which saw a revenue growth of 10.6 percent to 1.06 billion pounds. Strong sales at Very helped offset the decline in Littlewoods, which saw revenue drop 15 percent to 445 million pounds.

Shop Direct's retail sales increased 1.2 percent, as clothing and footwear revenue growth fell flat at 0.6 percent.

Author: Vivian Hendriksz
Posted: ”25-05-2018”

American off-price retailer Ross Stores said on Thursday its Q1 net profit for 2018 rose. Revenues increased by 8.6 percent from the same period last year.

The company’s net profit for Q1 2018 was 418 million US dollars, up from 321 million US dollars a year earlier. Revenues rose to 3589 million US dollars. The profit margin of the company rose to 11.6 percent compared to 9.7 percent a year ago.

Ross Stores Inc was founded in 1950 by Morris Ross and is based in Dublin, California, United States. The company operates Ross Dress for Less and dd’s DISCOUNT, off-price apparel and home fashion chains in the United States. Its chains offer apparel, accessories, footwear, and home fashions up to 70 percent below regular prices.

Offering clothing, accessories and home fashion, the Nasdaq-listed company has 77800 employees worldwide and operates about 1400 stores.

For more recent news on the business, collections and executive changes of Ross Stores Inc, click here.

Author: FashionUnited
Posted: ”25-05-2018”

American footwear and apparel company Deckers Brands said on Thursday its Q4 net profit for 2018 rose. Revenues increased by 8.4 percent from the same period last year.

The company’s net profit for Q4 2018 was 20.6 million US dollars, up from -15.7 million US dollars a year earlier. Revenues increased to 400.7 million US dollars. The profit margin of the company rose to 5.1 percent compared to -4.2 percent a year ago.

Hover over the graph to learn more.

Deckers Outdoor Corporation was founded in 1973 by Doug Otto and is based in Goleta, California, United States. Deckers Brands produces footwear, apparel and accessories developed for both everyday use and high performance activities. The company’s portfolio of brands includes UGG, Koolaburra, Hoka One One, Teva and Sanuk.

Offering footwear, apparel, accessories, the New York-listed company has 3200 employees worldwide and operates about 138 stores.

For more recent news on the business, collections and executive changes of Deckers Outdoor Corporation, click here.

Author: FashionUnited
Posted: ”25-05-2018”

London - Value footwear retailer Shoe Zone plc saw its revenue grow 1.1 percent to 73.7 million pounds for the six months to March 31, 2018, up from 72.9 million pounds during the same period one year ago.

Shoe Zone reported statutory profit before tax of 1 million pounds and a cash increase to 5.9 million pounds, up from 4.6 million pounds in H1 2017. The value footwear retailer reported strong product margins, which fell from 62.8 percent in H1 2017 to 60.6 percent H1 2018. This slight dip was attributed to higher write-downs earlier in the year and the sales mix from Q2.

Shoe Zone continues to thrive under its business transformation plane

Multi-channel sales increased 21 percent to 4.9 million pounds during the six months to March 31, achieving a contribution of 1.2 million pounds. Shoe Zone kept a tight hold on its costs as rent on renewals fell 22 percent on average, which is equal to a full-year saving of 100,000 pounds. In addition, footwear orders directly placed with overseas factories increased from 84.7 percent to 87.1 percent.

By working closely with its manufacturers, Shoe Zone has helped "support gross margins" as well as improve overall communication and control across its supply chain. Non-footwear lines, which include handbags, school bags, lunch boxes, purses, and accessories also continued to grow, with sales from non-footwear times increasing 12 percent year-on-year to 3.6 million pounds.

"This has been a good first half for the Group, trading in line with management’s expectations and achieving profitable revenue growth," said Nick Davis, Chief Executive of Shoe Zone in a statement. "Our on-going strategic focus on the property portfolio has continued to benefit the Group, with careful management of leases and measured opening of core and Big Box stores, taking advantage of the favourable retail rental environment."

Shoe Zone has been busy transforming its overall business over the past year opening more 'big box' stores, operating 12 by the end of the March 31, which contributed 3.1 million pounds in sales. "This good performance also reflects our close management of costs and ability to maintain appealing key price-points and multi-buy offers for our customers," added Davis.

"Trading momentum has continued into the second half, in line with expectations for the full year. With our growth strategy in place, we believe we are favourably insulated against many of the structural sector issues and the Board remains confident of the outlook for Shoe Zone."

Photo: Roger A Smith / Shoe Zone, No. 117-118 The High Street, Ilfracombe.

Author: Vivian Hendriksz
Posted: ”25-05-2018”

American womens wear maker Cato Fashion said on Thursday its Q1 net profit for 2018 rose. Revenues fell by 0.4 percent from the same period last year.

The company’s net profit for Q1 2018 was 23.4 million US dollars, up from 22.2 million US dollars a year earlier. Revenues slid to 238 million US dollars. The profit margin of the company increased to 9.8 percent compared to 9.3 percent a year ago.

Cato Corporation was founded in 1946 by Wayland Henry Cato, Wayland Henry Cato and Jr., Edgar Thomas and is based in Charlotte, North Carolina, United States. Cato Fashions offers latest fashion styles for women – work or play, dressy or casual in junior/misses and plus sizes, jewelry, shoes and accessories at low prices. The company operates under three concepts - Cato, Versona and It's Fashion.

Offering women's clothing and accessories, the New York-listed company has 10500 employees worldwide and operates about 1300 stores.

For more recent news on the business, collections and executive changes of Cato Corporation, click here.

Author: FashionUnited
Posted: ”25-05-2018”

London - Outdoor apparel retailer Mountain Warehouse has been able to defy the current retail 'doom and gloom' climate, as the privately-held company reported its 21sy consecutive year of revenue growth.

Mountain Warehouse saw its sales jump 22 percent to 225.3 million pounds in the year to February 25, 2018, as like-for-like sales were up 14 percent. Profit before tax grew 35.6 percent, up from 19.6 million pounds last year to 26.6 million pounds.

Mountain Warehouse launches new expansion plan following sales growth

The outdoor retailer's online sales grew 32 percent during the year, accounting for a quarter of its total sales. International sales rose 36.5 percent, accounting for nearly 30 percent of Mountain Warehouse's total sales.

The sales bump comes as the outdoor retailer continues to expand, having opened 25 new stores during the past financial year, creating 300 new jobs. Mountain Warehouse founder and CEO, Mark Neale, aims to continue expanding the retailer's presence over the next year.

“We are concentrating on opening more stores,” said Neale in a statement. “We do not subscribe to this ‘death of the high street’ story. We’ve found it quite difficult to find empty stores in the places where we want to open.”

Mountain Warehouse, which currently employs 3,000 people across 300 stores, aims to open 40 new stores over the next 12 months, creating 450 new jobs. Half of the stores will open abroad, the other half are set to open in the UK.

In the UK, Mountain Warehouse has been acquiring retail locations from retailers which have been closing down a number of stores and is set to take over 5 stores from fashion retailer New Look, which aims to shut 60 stores under a CVA.

Photos: Mountain Warehouse

Author: Vivian Hendriksz
Posted: ”25-05-2018”

American clothing retailer Gap said on Thursday its Q1 net profit for 2018 increased. Revenues increased by 10 percent from the same period last year.

The company’s net profit for Q1 2018 was 164 million US dollars, up from 143 million US dollars a year earlier. Revenues increased to 3783 million US dollars. The profit margin of the company rose to 4.3 percent compared to 4.2 percent a year ago.

Hover over the graph to learn more.

Gap Inc was founded in 1969 by Donald Fisher and Doris F. Fisher and is based in San Francisco, California, United States. Gap is a leading international specialty retailer. Through five brands under its fold – Gap, Banana Republic, Old Navy, Athleta and Intermix, the company is known for its smart clothing and accessories.

Offering men's, women's and kids' clothing, the New York-listed company has 150000 employees worldwide and operates about 3200 own stores.

For more recent news on the business, collections and executive changes of Gap Inc, click here.

Author: FashionUnited
Posted: ”25-05-2018”

London - High street fashion retailer Topshop has reported a 10.9 million pounds loss for the year to August 2017, as an increasing number of fashion retailers struggling amidst difficult trading conditions.

Topshop saw its profits slip from 59.4 million pounds in 2016 to a loss in 2017, according to accounts filed by its parent company, Arcadia Group, at Companies House. Topshop saw its sales drop 6 percent from 990.8 million pounds in 2016 to 933.6 million pounds in the year to August 2017.

The fashion retailer attributed part of its loss to a 12.6 million pound impairment on a fixed asset and provisions for its onerous leases. Topshop added that leases for new loss-making stores cost an additional 4.2 million pounds.

The results come one week after Arcadia Group parent company, Taveta Investments, revealed a 42 percent decline in group operating profit to 124.1 million pounds during the same period and a 5.6 percent dip in group sales to 1.9 billion pounds.

Photos: Topshop SS18

Author: Vivian Hendriksz
Posted: ”24-05-2018”

London - L Brands, Inc reported its first-quarter results on Thursday, which saw the US company boost its top-line performance.

The company reported net sales of 2.626 billion US dollars for the first quarter ended May 5, 2018, an 8 percent increase compared to sales of 2.437 billion US dollars for the quarter ended April 29, 2017, Comparable sales for the first quarter ended May 5, 2018 increased 3 percent compared to the thirteen weeks ended May 6, 2017.

First quarter income fell to 154.8 million US dollars from 209.2 million US dollars last year, while net income was down 49 percent, slipping from 94.1 million US dollars to 47.5 million US dollars this year. L brands saw earnings per share for the first quarter ended Mat 5, 2018 at 0.17 US dollars in comparison to 0.33 US dollars for the same quarter last year.

L Brands Victoria's Secret sees comparable sales rise 1 percent in Q1

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L Brands Victoria's Secret saw its comparable sales increase 1 percent during the first quarter of 2018, while Bath & Body Works reported an 8 percent increase in comparable sales. Victoria's Secret saw total sales of 1,589.4 million US dollars during the first quarter of 2018, while Bath & Both Works reported total sales of 760.4 million US dollars. "Overall, this is a reasonably pleasing set of results from L Brands," commented Neil Saunders, Managing Director of GlobalData Retail in a statement.

"After a long run of declines, Victoria's Secret comparable sales rose by 1 percent. As good as it is that the brand is back in positive territory, it earns no applause - mainly because the increase came off the back of a 14 percent comparable decline in the prior year. Moreover, comparable sales in physical stores fell by 5 percent, following a 12 percent decline last year."

"To be fair to Victoria's Secret, the work done to reset the business has likely helped to stem the tide of decline. A rebalancing of the bra offer, for example, which now includes more options that have benefits around fit and comfort as well as the traditional fashion bras, has helped to create interest," added Saunders, who highlighted issues with Victoria's Secret tone and brand image.

"Looking ahead, we believe that Victoria's Secret will continue to struggle in the year ahead. With more investment needed in the brand and some cost pressures, we think the outlook remains soft for the group," concluded Saunders. L Brands cut its guidance for its 2018 earnings to between 2.70 US dollars a share and 3 US dollars a share, down from a range between 2.95 US dollars to 3.25 US dollars.

Photos: Victoria's Secret Villa Victoria 2018

Author: Vivian Hendriksz
Posted: ”24-05-2018”

London - LVMH has successfully led a new round of financing for Lyst, as the global fashion search platform aims to expand its presence online. The announcement confirms weeks of speculation that the luxury group was raising fresh capital for Lyst and sees LVMH's head of digital, Ian Rogers, join the board at Lyst.

The investment will be used to support Lyst's continued international expansion into new markets, and help fuel the London-based company's growth across its teams in London and New York, said Lyst in a statement Thursday morning. Lyst reportedly aims to launch in Spain and Germany next.

LVMH leads funding round for Lyst

The investment will also be used to fund Lyst's data science team, who pioneer machine learning, computer vision, artificial intelligence and neural network techniques to power the platform's search engine and personalisation algorithms to offer new ways to search products.

Terms of the transaction were not disclosed, but market sources indicate that Lyst could have raised as much as 50 million pounds (66.5 million US dollars) to 100 million pounds (133 US dollars), linking LVMH investment to 90 percent of the total. Other sources believe that LVMH investment is less than 45 million pounds (60 million US dollars) according to the Financial Times.

Lyst stated that it is now profitable and has increased revenues over 400 percent over the past three years since it last raised funds. Bernard Arnault, chairman and chief executive of LVMH, previously invested in Lyst in 2015 through his family office Groupe Arnault, raising 40 million US dollars (30 million pounds) with venture firms Balderton Capital and Accel Partners.

"This is a time of transformational change in the fashion industry. The shift to digital has enabled Lyst to redefine how customers search and discover fashion online - today we’re already among the top sources of new customers for our partners around the world," said Chris Morton, Co-Founder and CEO, Lyst in a statement. "Our success to date is based on marrying cutting-edge technology with deep fashion expertise. We are thrilled that this will be further strengthened by our partnership with LVMH."

Lyst offers customers a new way to search and shop from over 12,000 brands and retailers in one platform, including Gucci, Fendi and Net-a-Porter, offering them curated edits and personalised style recommendations. The London-based platform served shoppers from more than 120 countries last year and aims to grow its reach by offering users new ways to search for fashion items. "E-commerce now represents multi-billion Euro revenue and explosive growth for LVMH Maisons," added Ian Rogers, LVMH Chief Digital Officer.

"As we continue to invest across the full spectrum of the online luxury experience, Lyst’s vision for a seamless fashion search and discovery destination, coupled with its exceptional growth potential, provides us with a unique opportunity."

Photos: Courtesy of Lyst

Author: Vivian Hendriksz
Posted: ”24-05-2018”