Quiz sales plummet despite website improvements

Clothing retailer Quiz has reported a year-on-year revenue decrease of 9.3% for the seven weeks to 4 January 2020, as Christmas sales stuttered.

The business has been battling for sales growth for some time, aiming to drive revenue with fewer promotions and more full-price sales, while also focusing attention on improving its own website and mobile commerce offering.

It is working with suppliers including Poq and Amplience to support its mobile app and mobile website, respectively. Digitally, the business is encouraging shape.

Quiz’s own websites saw a 5.9% increase in sales during the period, but overall online trading declined by 14.8% year-on-year, reflecting the move away from some third-party selling partners, which the retailer has previously deemed unprofitable.

The group's interim results, released on 4 December 2019, highlighted encouraging sales during Black Friday week. Since that date, however, it said sales have softened relative to expectations. In-store, including Quiz concessions, footfall continues to drop, and sales through these channels during the reported period were down by 7% year-on-year.

Quiz said gross margins were broadly in line with expectations, while it continues to manage lower inventory levels compared to previous years. As of 4 January, net cash on the balance sheet stood at £10.7 million, versus £12.3 million one year before. 

Tarak Ramzan, Quiz CEO, said: "We have continued to make good progress in improving gross margins and reducing costs in line with the strategic priorities set out by the board last year

“With our cash position, we remain confident that we can improve our financial performance and grow revenues.”

Quiz’s troubles come as online fashion retailer Boohoo, yesterday (14 January), said group revenue for the four months to 31 December totalled £473.7 million – representing a 44% hike on the same period one year before.

Earlier this month, multichannel retailer Next said it was raising its full-year profit guidance, after full-price sales in peak period – 27 October to 28 December 2019 – jumped by 5.2%, which was 1.1% ahead of the business’ estimates. Next reported a 15.3% hike in online revenue, which offset a 3.9% decline in sales from its stores.

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