Jigsaw owner swings to loss despite sales increase

Jigsaw’s parent company Robinson Webster Holdings swung to a dramatic loss last despite posting a strong sales performance.

In the year to September 30 last year, Robinson Webster – which also owns luxury fashion brand The Shop at Bluebird – posted a pre-tax loss of £783,000 falling from a £2.7 million profit a year prior.

This was reflected in a fall in gross profit margins, dropping from 65.2 per cent in 2016 to 62.5 per cent in 2017.

Despite posting a loss, group sales of clothing and accessories rose 9.5 per cent to £103.7 million.

Both bricks-and-mortar and online sales grew during the year, with physical store revenue jumping £488,000 to £76.2 million, while ecommerce rose £8.6 million to £27.6 million.

Jigsaw enjoyed a significant boost from online sales, rising 45 per cent to £15.9 million, attributing the boost to increased sales via John Lewis’ website, rising two per cent to £5.7 million.

The group’s fall in profits was attributed to fall in UK like-for-like sales as “headwinds” in the second half led to a reduction in consumer confidence and footfall on the high streets.

In light of this the brand has said it will focus on international online sales to offset the costs incurred by the UK high street’s current troubles.

“In order to reduce its overall exposure to fixed costs and increase variable costs, the group is increasing its activities that are not dependent on the UK high street, including ecommerce and licensing,” it stated.

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