N Brown considers the closure of its 20 high street stores

N Brown
Simply Be

Online shopping group N Brown has entered into consultation with staff over the proposed closure of its 20 high street stores, which operate under the High & Mighty, Jacamo and Simply Be brands.

A decision about the fate of the stores and the 240 staff affected is expected to be made by the time the business announces its half-year numbers in October. The business said its focus now was on become a global online player and that the stores, which generated £15m of revenue (2% of group revenue), were loss making with a combined EBITDA loss of £3m.

CEO Angela Spindler said: “In line with our online strategy, and given continued weak high street footfall, we have today commenced a consultation process with colleagues over the future of our small store estate. This action has not been taken lightly and we will do all we can to support the colleagues affected during this process.

“We continue at pace our journey to become a global online retailer, uniquely delivering fashion that fits. This will underpin our future growth, both in the UK and Internationally,” she said.

The news came as the group delivered a trading update for the 13 weeks to 2 June. Group revenue showed a marginal increase of +0.4% while product revenue was down -2.8% and financial services up 9%.

N Brown’s stores are dotted around the country in locations such as London and Belfast. It closed five stores in 2017. As well as the 240 stores staff a further 15 staff are at risk of redundancy at its Manchester HQ and 15 and 35 working at its Duke Mill warehouse in Shaw.