// N Brown Group sales drop due to uncertainty
// The retailer saw sales decline while aiming to secure new financing with creditors
N Brown Group has seen its sales drop in a “very uncertain environment” amid attempts to secure new financial arrangements with its lenders.
The group, which owns JD Williams, Jacamo and Simply Be, saw its sales decline by 25 per cent in the last six weeks.
Apparel sales at the Manchester-based retail firm were down by 48 per cent over the same period.
- N Brown posts “sudden reduction” in demand amid covid-19 outbreak
- Retailers face dividend ban as government revises coronavirus loan scheme
Despite this, N Brown Group saw its home and gifting sales shoot up by 74 per cent.
Meanwhile, the company has also secured new financing arrangements with lenders, including a £50 million facility provided under the government’s Coronavirus Large Business Interruption Scheme.
The retailer has taken a number of actions to minimise costs, including an 80 per cent reduction in marketing expenditure, furloughing 30 per cent of staff, recruitment and salary freezes, voluntary pay reduction from the management board and senior leadership team, and deferring tax payments.
“In what remains a very uncertain environment, we have been balancing our number one priority of looking after our colleagues, with a commitment to continue serving our loyal customers, whilst ensuring the business has the resilience to navigate the various challenges we are facing,” N Brown chief executive Steve Johnson said.
“Our colleagues and suppliers have shown fantastic dedication and demonstrated real agility amidst difficult conditions, and I am extremely grateful for their hard work.
“We are pleased to have secured support from both our banking partners and the government’s loan scheme, which help to strengthen our financial position and gives us the flexibility and certainty to manage through this challenging period.
“In addition, the immediate and substantive actions we took at the very outset of this crisis have supported our working capital positively in this period.”