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Quiz revenues down as pandemic and enforced store closures impact sales

Tom Bottomley
29 September 2021

Omni-channel fashion brand Quiz has today reported that group revenue decreased by 66% to £39.7m in its preliminary results for the year ended 31 March 2021, compared to £118m for the same period in 2020.

The retailer reported a pre-tax loss of £9.6m compared to a loss of £3.1m in the previous year, while gross profit also dropped to £21.1m from £71.1m in the previous year.

The company said that it was in large part due to the “significant impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on trading conditions”, including the forced closure of stores and concessions.

Group margin decreased to 53.4% from 60.3%, reflecting an increased level of discounting in part as a result of the enforced closures, while underlying operating costs reduced by 47% “reflecting the management’s decisive actions in response to the impact of the pandemic”.

Underlying operating costs, net of the receipt of £8.2m of government support, reduced by 58%.

A gradual improvement in sales has been achieved since the removal of restrictions on large scale social events, with performance “approaching pre-pandemic levels on a like-for-like basis”. As a result, the group has achieved sales of £30.6m for the five months to 31 August 2021.

Quiz Founder and Chief Executive Officer, Tarak Ramzan, commented: “Against a backdrop of highly challenging trading conditions during the year, including the enforced closures of stores and concessions for substantial periods and the cancellation of social events that are a key driver for demand of Quiz’s trademark occasion wear, we have taken decisive actions to position the business to return to long-term profitable growth, including reducing the size of our store estate, decreasing costs, and maintaining very tight cash management.

“We have continued to invest in our own ecommerce channels as we optimise our omni-channel model. We remain confident in the strength and appeal of Quiz as an occasionwear led brand, as has been evidenced by the increase in demand and positive trends across our operational KPIs as social events returned during the summer. This continues to underpin the Board’s confidence in our ability to continue to improve performance and achieve profitable growth as more normal trading patterns return.”

The group’s store estate comprised 61 stores in the UK and four in the Republic of Ireland (ROI) at year end 2021, compared to 75 in the UK and 7 in ROI on 31 March 2020.

In a statement Quiz said the “store restructuring is now complete”, resulting in a smaller store footprint focused on more attractive locations, and a significantly lower rental cost base, linked to revenues generated and more flexible leases.

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