Despite broadening its offering with hats and handbags, pushing sales to £5.5m last year, revenue at the discount footwear retailer fell 3.5% in the year to 3 October 2015
The retailer said the loss reflected the planned closures of loss making stores and trading difficulty in the first half of the year.
The losses aren’t so much a surprise for the high street chain, as it focused on improving its store portfolio in the last year. The retailer opened 12 new stores and revamped 40 outlets.
Online profits also improved with the launch of a fully responsive, upgraded website. Mobile and tablet devices accounted for 66% of online traffic and conversion rates increased across all devices.
Shoe Zone’s product orders placed directly with overseas factories rose to 62.1% from 53.1% in 2014. In this period, the retailer began to trade in over 30 additional countries via Amazon and eBay.
“Although 2015 was a difficult year for the footwear industry, we have achieved a solid performance. We have continued our focus on our strategic objectives and this has ensured we are well placed for the future” said Chief Exec Anthony Smith.
“We are also excited to be trialling “Project Big Box” in August 2016 which will involve three stores that will be twice the average size of a Grade 1 store. The trial stores will benefit from an extended product range, higher priced footwear and will allow us to benefit from the out of town market. This trial will create a strong avenue for new growth outside of Shoe Zone’s traditional portfolio.”
Plans are underway to extend Shoe Zone’s estate with an additonal 56 Grade 1 stores by the February.