Value footwear retailer, Shoe Zone, posts 4.2% sales fall in challenging market

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Shoe Zone, a leading UK specialist value footwear retailer, has reported a 4.2% fall in turnover to £159.8m for the 52 weeks ended 1 October 2016. Shoe Zone blamed the sales dip on the closure of loss making stores and difficult trading conditions in the first half of 2016. Pre-tax profits, however, increased by 1.1% to £10.3m during the year.

In terms of the product offer, Shoe Zone said the average transaction value improved by 5% during the year; while footwear orders placed directly with overseas factories increased to 72.2%, up from 62.1% in 2015. Non-footwear ranges also continued to grow, up 26% on 2015.

During the year, 17 new stores were opened, including 10 relocations; and 41 refits were completed. Shoe Zone said it had enjoyed an “encouraging performance” from a‘ Big Box’ trial; with two store openings during the period and one since the period end.

Multi-channel revenue increased by 11%; with Shoe Zone’s e-commerce operations moved to a dedicated online distribution zone, improving efficiency. Since the year end, the retailer has begun trading on Amazon marketplaces in France, Germany, Spain and Italy. The retailer has also appointed a new brands manager to support development of branded ranges.

Nick Davis, chief executive of Shoe Zone, said: “I am pleased with the Group’s performance in what was a challenging retail environment. The Group’s new branding is resonating well with our customer base and we will continue to update the estate through our store rationalisation and refit programme. Our Big Box trial, which started in August 2016, is delivering encouraging results while attracting a broader customer demographic and we plan to open a further six new stores across the UK in 2017.

“We continue to make good progress on our strategic objectives and have traded in line with expectations for the first quarter of the year. The Board remains positive for the outlook of the Group and looks forward to updating shareholders on the progress of our Big Box trial.”