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Reiss sales bouncing back after pandemic hits 2020 performance

Lauretta Roberts
16 September 2021

Reiss has said sales are bouncing back after its 2020 profit and sales performance was hit due to the global pandemic. It has also revealed a planned move into childrenswear and a forthcoming collaboration with British luxury sports brand Castore.

The premium British fashion retailer said group sales were down 24.6% to £170.7 million in the year to 31 January 2021 while loss before tax and exceptional items was £3.8m (2019: profit of £20.5m). Loss before tax and after exceptional items was £13.6m.

Exceptional items totalling £9.8m largely resulted directly from the pandemic. Key items were: store onerous lease and asset impairment provision (£3.7m), stock and fabric provisions (£3.2m), restructuring and COVID-response related costs (£1.2m) and other one-off costs, including costs related to Next's recent investment in the business of (£1.7m).

However Reiss said that since the start of the current financial year there had been a strong recovery in sales and it expected to return to profit. For the 30 weeks to 29 August 2021, total group sales were £124.2m, 52% higher than 2020 and 8% higher than the pre-pandemic year in 2019. This 30 week period included 10 weeks when all of Reiss's UK stores were closed due to the pandemic.

Reiss CEO Christos Angelides said: “Reiss has recovered strongly from a challenging 2020, and the creation of our new casual collections has proved successful with our customers.

"As the impact of the pandemic recedes and the economy recovers, we are also seeing a strong return in sales of occasion and formal wear - our speciality since 1971.

"We are working closely with NEXT plc to integrate our logistics and website onto the NEXT Total Platform, set to go live in early 2022. I am confident that this partnership will lead to further sales growth, in addition to cost synergies and operational efficiencies."

Angelides also revealed that the 50-year-old company will be launching its first ever childrenswear collection in October and will be launching a collaboration with Andy Murray-backed luxury sports brand Castore. Earlier this year Reiss branched into performance sports with the launch of its first golf collection.

High street giant Next took a 25% stake in Reiss in March and has the option to take an additional 26% stake in a deal which valued the business at £200 million. Next CEO Lord Simon Wolfson subsequently took up the role of chair at Reiss taking over from its founder David Reiss.

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