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Shoe Zone on track to operate 45 "big box" stores by end of 2019

Lauretta Roberts
21 May 2019

Value footwear chain Shoe Zone reported broadly flat sales and profits in H1 2019 and said it was on course to hit its expansion target of operating 45 “big box” stores by the end of the year.

During the period the group achieved revenues of £73m (H1 2018: £73.7m) and statutory profit before tax of £1m (flat year-on-year), which it said was in line with expectations.

The business operated 26 “big box” stores during the period, as well as a digital shop, which accounted for £5m in sales (up 4.9%). Overall it operates more than 500 stores. By the end of May it said it would have 33 big box stores and 45 by the end of the year. It also initiated trials on a new hybrid store.

CEO Nick Davis said it had been a positive half-year for the group with “profitable revenue growth in our two key growth areas of Digital and Big Box.

“Our ongoing strategic focus continues to be on the Big Box roll out with a target of 45 stores by the end of December 2019. This is progressing to plan and we will be operating from 33 Big Box stores by the end of May.

“Additionally, our refreshed digital strategy has also generated profitable growth, laying the foundation for a positive outlook for the rest of the year. This good performance also reflects our close management of costs and ability to maintain appealing key price-points and multi-buy offers for our customers. Additionally, we have experienced lower administration costs due to careful control of property costs and beneficial reduction in foreign exchange.”

The company said it had managed to negotiate down rents on renewals on average by 18.5% representing the equivalent to a full year’s rent saving of £334,000.

Davis added that:“Trading momentum has continued into the second half, in line with market expectations. With our growth strategy in place, we believe we are favourably insulated against many of the structural sector issues and the Board continues to look to the future with confidence.”

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