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N Brown to close five stores including Oxford Street flagship

Lauretta Roberts
20 June 2017

N Brown, parent of Simply Be and Jacamo, said it will close five loss-making stores, including its flagship on Oxford Street, due to falling footfall and increasing business rates.

The company, which operates 15 retail stores across the UK, announced the news along with strong quarterly trading figures for its main online business. The five stores in question, all of which are dual-fascia Simply Be and Jacamo stores, account for £5m in revenue and make up the entire £2m operating loss of the retail arm of the business.

Chief executive Angela Spindler said the decision was driven by "ongoing weak footfall in some locations, and with a clear focus on driving financial returns across all areas of our business."

Overall the business achieved a 5.6% growth in revenue in the 13 weeks to 3 June while online revenues were up 16% and now account for 71% of its overall business.

Product revenue was up 10.2% with Simply Be, which focuses on plus-size womenswear, showing the strongest growth at 20.5% year on year. JD Williams, which targets men and women and includes a 50-plus men's offer, was up 12.7% while menswear brand Jacamo was up 5.5%.

N Brown also owns lingerie etailer Figleaves and plus-size fashion, lingerie and swim business Marisota, which form part of its Secondary Brands division, which reported sales up 5.4%. Its Traditional Brands division, which includes brands targeting a mature customer, was up 10.7%.

"Although the outlook for consumer confidence remains uncertain, our offering is resonating with customers. At this early stage in the financial year, trading is on track to meet our expectations. We continue to invest in our customer proposition and remain very confident in our future growth prospects," Spindler added.

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