BonmarchÃ©’s like for like sales have plummeted by 8.6 per cent in the 26 weeks to September 24.
In its half-year results the womenswear retailer becomes the most recent casualty of the fashion sector, blaming poor weather and the BHS collapse on its misfortunes.
Its profit before tax plunged by 63 per cent, dropping from £5.4 million to just £2 million. Revenue for the first half was £93.1 million, down four per cent from £97 million.
The struggling retailer has stated that BHS‘s clearance sales throughout the summer had pulled customers away from its stores, and issues a profit warning during the “unseasonably” hot September.
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Internal factors also contributed to the huge fall in profits, as a reliance of Chinese labour reportedly meant it could not react quickly to unpredictable seasonable demand, as well as repeating products damaging customer interest.
“I believe that BonmarchÃ© has signficant potential to grow as a retailer serving the 50 plus women’s value clothing market, a belief that has strengthened with my continued exposure to the business,” chief executive Helen Connolly said.
“Work has already begun to modernise and simplify our operations and improve basic disciplines – key foundations for the more strategic priorities of developing the customer proposition and improving customer journeys.”
The retailer has said it hopes to return to growth as in 2018.