Operating losses at French Connection mushroomed in the year ending 31 January, hitting a £4.7m low compared with £800,000 in the previous year. This figure was accelerated by the clothing retailer’s disappointing Spring/Summer sales which failed to resonate with customers amidst intense competition in the fashion space.
Revenues fell 8%, with “poor” like-for-like sales, and 13 stores were closed.
In a trading update on Tuesday the British chain said the second half was better than the first, and Chief Exec Stephen Marks said French Connection was “definitely moving in the right direction” after changes across design and merchandising.
“We are early in the year and have a considerable amount of work to do to take the Group back to profitability although I believe that the actions we have taken to date will go a long way to taking us there,” he added. Indeed the company cited the second half actually resulted in profit.
French Connection also announced the appointment of Lee Williams, who joins from Asos, to fill former Finance Director Adam Castelton’s position. Castelton left in July.
Christos Angelides, who worked at Next for 28 years and held a brief stint at teen clothing retailer Abercrombie & Fitch has also been hired as an independent non-executive director.