N Brown sales improving as winter wear demand picks up

N BROWN, the online and catalogue-based plus-size clothing retailer, said demand was improving as sales of winter wear were picking up after a dull start in September due to warmer-than-usual weather.

Angela Spindler

Shares of N Brown, known for its brands SimplyBe, Jacamo and Marisota, rose as much as 8 per cent yesterday.

N Brown said its revenue fell 10.8 per cent in September, but rose 1.5 per cent in October and 3 per cent in November.

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“We are now seeing good sales in winter-related fashion product, which was what was driving issues earlier in the quarter,” said chief executive Angela Spindler.

A number of big clothing retailers, including Next and SuperGroup, have trimmed their full-year profit forecasts in recent weeks as warm autumn weather kept coats and scarves on the shelf.

N Brown said increased focus on its online business and the relaunch of its biggest brand, JD Williams, in July was boosting sales. The company’s Black Friday sales rose 54 per cent and transactions rose 67 per cent as customers increasingly go online for their holiday shopping. The Manchester-based retailer gets almost two-thirds of its revenue from its online business.

“Black Friday was great, a great way to stimulate customer demand and get Christmas started.We expect record online sales during Christmas,” Ms Spindler said.

N Brown, however, said its total revenue fell 2.3 per cent in the 13 weeks ended November 29. The company had warned in October that its full-year profit would be lower. The group is chaired by Andrew Higginson, the incoming chairman of Morrisons.