Moss Bros sees suit hire sales hit record

menswear retailer Moss Bros yesterday said it narrowed losses last year as it revealed suit hire sales hit an all-time high.

The firm, which has 155 stores, claimed its turnaround plans had begun to make progress as it reported underlying losses of £2.7m in the year to January 29 against losses of £3.9m the previous year.

Like-for-like sales increased by 9 per cent in the year having recovered from declines in 2009, after a record 11 per cent rise in suit hire revenues and 9 per cent hike in clothes sales.

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The suit hire business saw its highest ever sales despite a declining market after it benefited from the collapse of Suits You and Young’s Hire parent Speciality Retail Group (SRG) in November.

Moss Bros’ sales growth dipped to 8 per cent in the first eight weeks of its new financial year, but the group said the performance was encouraging as it hit tougher comparatives with the year before.

Moss is undergoing a turnaround plan under chief executive Brian Brick, who was brought in more than a year ago.

Earlier this month, shareholders agreed a “transformational” deal to sell the firm’s 15 Hugo Boss franchise stores.