Womenswear retailer Bonmarche said this morning that it has made a positive start to the year despite like-for-like sales falling in its first quarter after an inconsistent spring and early summer weather which deterred customers.
The company said that overall firm sales, including new store openings, rose 3.8% in the 13 weeks to June 27, but like-for-like sales fell 1.7% as a result of the temperamental weather (customers usually wait for consistently warm weather before buying into the spring/summer stock).
Beth Butterwick, CEO of Bonmarche, said: “We have made a solid start to the new financial year. Our like-for-like run rate shows an improvement compared to the previous quarter, despite inconsistent spring and early summer weather.
We continue to make progress with the execution of our strategic initiatives. We are listening to our customers’ feedback, based on which, our plans will evolve. At this early stage the board remains confident of achieving its expectations for the year,” said Butterwick.
The group said its financial position remains sound and the board’s expectations for the full year are unchanged.
Bonmarche has seen a growing interest in cropped trousers, shorts and swimwear as the 50+ customer base embrace catwalk fashion that has been modified to suit more mature women.
This is part of Butterwick’s strategy who is pushing on trend clothing options for the over 50s market, avoiding the type of apparel that reveals too much skin or tight fitting on the waist.