Joe Browns bucks retail gloom with strong sales

Joe Browns Meadowhall

Joe Browns this week revealed it was “bucking the depressing downward trend for retailers this season” by reporting a 24 per cent growth in sales.

The Yorkshire clothing brand originally focused on mail order and evolved as an online retailer before launching its first store in Sheffield’s Meadowhall centre last year, 19 years after it was founded.

Joe Browns reported that the cold weather had boosted sales of women’s coats and jacket sales over 32 per cent year-on-year from August 10 to December 10.

Meanwhile, menswear rose 28 per cent for the period and women’s footwear sales were up by almost 34 per cent.

Loungewear was a highlight for sales – up 232 per cent year-on-year.

Also contrary to the rest of the industry. Joe Browns noted it had stuck with its commitment of not discounting its current season products outside of its two end-of-season sales.

The retailer’s Black Friday strategy kept discounts to a minimum with a “conservative” 10 per cent off its outlet range, of which rose 15 per cent year-on-year for the week around Black Friday, with 90 per cent of sales still made on full-priced items.

“I know it’s very difficult out there. Our current position has been part of a five-year investment plan which we are confident will see our success continue long-term,” founder and managing director Simon Brown said.

“Being privately owned, we don’t have to answer to banks or shareholders, so we have no need to discount in a panic. We have confidence in our strong product range.”

Joe Browns’ next sales period begins on Christmas Eve, when the retailer will begin “a healthy five per cent up on budget”.

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