Russell & Bromley profits dive 55%

Russell & Bromley has reported a third consecutive year of declining sales while its profits divebombed by more than half.

The footwear retailer said turnover dropped 6.2 per cent to £100.6 million in the year to December 31 2017.

This drop in sales exacerbated wider challenges on the UK high street, which it called a “cause for concern”, and led to a 63 per cent drop in operating profits to £6.6 million, alongside a 55.7 per cent fall in profits after tax to £6.2million.

In an effort to minimise costs, the retailer began to reduce its store estate in 2018, closing stores in Bournemouth, Bromley, Salisbury and its children’s store in Westfield in Shepherds Bush.

Its flagship store on Oxford Street will also soon close, alongside its store in Kensington.

‘‘With a third consecutive year of declining sales, ending up with FY2017 revenue at £100.6 million, there is a clear need for footwear specialist Russell & Bromley to rethink its strategy,” GlobalData’s senior retail analyst Karla Rendle said.

“The retailer points to sterling depreciation, increased business rates and higher national minimum wage as key factors driving down profit.

“The difficulty of selling at full price will have also come into play as shoppers have become accustomed to regular discounts and promotions in the footwear sector.

“Russell & Bromley must better justify its prices to shoppers by showcasing its quality credentials and value for money, or it risks its 1.3 per cent UK market share falling further.”

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