Belfast Telegraph

Bonmarche hit by clearance sale at collapsed rival BHS

Womenswear retailer Bonmarche has pointed to the weather and the collapse of rival BHS as it reported a slump in half-year sales.

The company said like-for-like sales at its stores slumped 8.6% in the 26 weeks to September 24, resulting in revenues falling 4% to £93.1 million.

Bonmarche added that a clearance sale at BHS affected its performance, particularly in April and May. It also said cool summer weather and a warm September meant that consumer demand for seasonal clothing was thrown off kilter.

However, the firm said it was able to clear much of its remaining summer stock, albeit at discounted prices

New boss Helen Connolly, who took up the role earlier this year, said: "Work has already begun to modernise and simplify our operations and improve basic disciplines - key foundations for the more strategic priorities of developing the customer proposition and improving customer journeys.

"I have been encouraged by the enthusiasm and commitment of the Bonmarche team, and remain confident that, despite the difficult trading conditions, the business will resume growth during FY18."

Profit in the period dropped from £5.4 million to £2 million, with online sales also falling, by 1.1%.

The firm opened opened 12 new stores/concessions and relocated three.

Bonmarche also flagged a new na tional TV advertising campaign, launched in September, which it hopes will attract new customers.

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