N Brown continues to see sales shift online while revenue improves

N Brown has revealed that 92% of its revenue came via its eCommerce channels in the second quarter of FY21, the three months up to 29 August 2020. This is a rise from the 85% of sales that came via the fashion group’s digital channels in the year ended 29 February 2020, with the Covid-19 pandemic accelerating the shift to eCommerce.

The JD Williams, Simply Be, and Jacamo parent company said that year-on-year revenue losses gradually improved in the six months ending 29 August, with the brand hit hard by the Covid-19 pandemic. Overall product revenue in the half year declined by 20.5%, but improvement was seen in the second half of the period when product sales fell by 12%.

N Brown noted that demand in its home & gift category continues to be “well above” the previous year, while all womenswear and menswear performed better in Q2, especially at JD Williams and Jacamo.

The group added that it has achieved material volume and cost efficiency savings and believes it is on course to offset at least 75% of the group profit decline through operational cost savings.

Steve Johnson, chief executive at N Brown, commented: "It is encouraging to see a continued improving trend in trading following the sharp decline witnessed upon the initial impact of Covid-19, with trading in-line with expectations. Home & Gift sales in the first half of our financial year have been particularly strong and our fashion brands continue to recover, particularly JD Williams and Jacamo. We have accelerated our digital transformation and 92% of our product revenue is now digital.

“Our financial services cash collection rates have remained stable and we continue to offer support and flexibility to those credit customers who require it. We will continue to implement our refreshed strategy, and particularly mindful of an uncertain UK retail environment, we will continue to focus on cost control, deleveraging and cash generation."