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Quiz sales dive amid "challenging conditions"
11 October 2019

Fast-fashion retailer Quiz has stumbled to lower sales in the first half of the year on the back of “very challenging” high street conditions.

The retailer said its stores and concessions had suffered weaker-than-expected sales over the six months to September after a slump in footfall.

Quiz reported that total group revenues slipped 5% to £63.3 million during the period, as online growth failed to offset its high street decline.

Sales across its high street stores and concessions slid by 11% to £31.3 million, down from £35.1 million in the same period last year.

However, the company rate of decline at its physical stores has “reduced in recent weeks”.

The retailer added that its average lease length is just over two years long and it will weigh up the economic benefits of each agreement when it comes for renewal.

Meanwhile, online revenues jumped 7% to £20 million on the back of continued investment into its online proposition and product range.

Earlier this year the company launched a business review to drive its turnaround. It stated that it is confident of securing £2 million to £3 million in cost saving in the near term.

Tarak Ramzan, chief executive officer of Quiz, said: “Overall, the group’s trading performance in the first half has been broadly in line with the board’s expectations despite the difficult UK trading environment.

“Sales growth through Quiz’s websites has continued, reflecting the investment in our product range and marketing initiatives.

“Whilst trading conditions are expected to remain challenging in the near term, the board remains confident that underpinned by Quiz’s flexible business model and an increasing online focus, the group can return to sustainable profitable growth in the medium term.”

Arlene Ewing, investment manager at Brewin Dolphin, said: “Investors will have a keen eye on the results of the root and branch review announced earlier in the year, particularly the company’s plans for some of its units in costly shopping centres – albeit, a combination of bricks and mortar and online appears to be the way forward for retailers.

“There is, nevertheless, some significant work required to turn the tide at Quiz, making it self-sufficient and able to handle the shocks faced by the wider sector.”

Steve Miley, a senior market analyst at added: "Another day, another set of disappointing results on the high street. Challenging market conditions stemming from Brexit uncertainty and consumers tightening their purse strings have seen Quiz suffer a double-digit slump in UK sales and a 5% decline in overall revenues. International sales increasing 3% and online sales increasing 7% were the only mildly encouraging parts of this report.

"Quiz share price has been on a downward trajectory across the year, losing over 50% of its value since January, as investors grow increasingly concerned over the outlook of the fashion retailer. Whilst the board is confident of achieving £2 - £3 million in cost savings, investors will want to see some progress towards this goal before turning bullish on the stock."

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