Fashion retailer Jacques Vert is to report a marked reduction in trading over the last few weeks at its annual general meeting being held later today.
The owner of womenswear brands Jacques Vert, Windsmoor, Planet and Precis, will also confirm that total sales in the first 22 weeks of its financial year rose by just 0.2 per cent year-on-year.
Rather than see a boost to business at the start of the autumn season, the market appears to be getting even tougher but group Chairman Steve Bodger believes the retailer has performed well in light of squeezed consumer finances.
Bodger is expected to say today: “On a like-for-like basis, sales in the first 22 weeks of the current financial year were 0.2 per cent higher than last year. This represents an encouraging performance in the current uncertain retail environment.
“In line with the general retail market there has been a weakening in sales and margin performance over the last three weeks, however it is too early to say if this is a trend that will continue.”
Based in the UK, the firm retails in over 1,000 outlets both as concessions and standalone stores domestically as well as in the Republic of Ireland and Canada, and also has a transactional website.
During it last financial year ending in April 2011, Jacques Vert saw its profits edge up by just £200,000 to £5.3 million whilst sales grew 2.6 per cent.
Profitability was down in the second half of that period due to investments in its supply chain and internal systems, but even so with margins becoming tighter it will need a strong Christmas period to see improvements in its full-year performance.