Theo Paphitis’ Ryman & Robert Dyas grow but rent cuts sought for Boux Avenue

Theo Paphitis' Ryman & Robert Dyas grow but rent cuts sought for Boux Avenue
Theo Paphitis himself is personally taking charge of Boux Avenue's business review.
// Ryman and Robert Dyas enjoyed increases in sales and profits, but Boux Avenue suffered
// Theo Paphitis Retail Group is reportedly in talks with landlords to cut rents across the Boux Avenue store estate

Theo Paphitis Retail Group has recorded full-year growth for its Ryman and Robert Dyas chains, but tough trading for Boux Avenue has prompted it to seek rent cuts with landlords.

For the financial year to March 30 2019, Ryman’s sales grew 1.4 per cent year-on-year to £129.9 million while EBITDA climbed 6.5 per cent year-on-year to £8.2 million.

Robert Dyas’ sales jumped 6.3 per cent during the same period to £131.8 million while EBITDA increased from £500,000 to £1.6 million on the back of online growth and demand in the outdoor summer categories.

However, the company’s Boux Avenue fascia is now in the midst of a strategic operational review after its in-store performance suffered.

Theo Paphitis himself is personally taking charge of Boux Avenue’s business review, which includes speaking to landlords to seek lower rents across 30 stores – mostly in shopping centres.

The Theo Paphitis Retail Group would not comment if the review could potentially lead to store closures.

Meanwhile for the Christmas period covering the six weeks to December 24, the company’s overall like-for-likes declined 1.3 per cent.

While Robert Dyas grew during this period and Ryman was flat, the overall festive results were dragged by a decline from Boux Avenue.

“Our group has delivered a resilient performance in what has been the most challenging retail environment we have ever experienced, underpinned by consumer uncertainty and declines in footfall,” Paphitis said.

He added: “We have seen progress with the turnaround plan we implemented at Boux last year and the reaction to our new designs and products has been encouraging.

“The contribution to Boux’s ranges from product designed by our in-house team, led by Zoe Price-Smith, is increasing and will be entirely influenced by them from the autumn this year.

“However, the lower than planned growth in Boux’s overall business, partially impacted by lower footfall experienced at these locations as well as an unsustainable cost base, has meant that we are accelerating a strategic and operational review of the business, leaving no stone unturned.

“We will look to address our cost base, in particular our rents, as well as addressing the appropriate mix of channels to match the changing needs of our customers.

“Given the significant importance of the review, this will be led by me personally, supported by our group board. The publication of Boux’s financial statements will follow pending the outcome of this review.”

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