N Brown’s sales rise

CLOTHING home-shopping group N Brown said it was on track with its strategic plans for the year as it posted a 2.5 per cent rise in underlying first quarter sales.

The firm, which targets shoppers with brands such as JD Williams, Simply Be and Jacamo, is being re-positioned under new chief executive Angela Spindler.

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She has reduced N Brown’s participation in non-core home and electrical ranges to focus on its fashion offer and changed the phasing of marketing spend. The firm said its total sales rose 2.6 per cent in the 15 weeks to June 14, which it said was in line with its plan for the quarter. It said sales in the last six weeks of the quarter had improved significantly, being up in the “high single digits”. The firm is building a physical store presence in the UK to complement its online and catalogue offer. It is targeting 25 stores, including a flagship store on London’s Oxford Street. N Brown is also seeking a slice of the US market for “fashion focused larger sized females” with its Simply Be brand. First quarter sales in the US rose 15 per cent.