Bonmarché saw its online sales grow 34.9%

Bonmarché saw its online sales grow 34.9%

Women’s wear value retailer Bonmarché recorded solid sales increases in the third quarter, boosted by online revenue growth despite continuing margin pressures.

The company said like-for-like sales had risen 3.8% in the 13 weeks to 27 December, or 5.8% taking into account online sales growth of 34.9%, with total sales rising 9.1%.

CEO Beth Butterwick said she was “satisfied” with the figures, adding: “Gross margins remained under pressure, but we continued to make positive LFL sales gains.

“Much of the challenge in the clothing market was due to the prolonged mild weather, which began in September and continued until mid-December.

“The board believes that the year’s performance will be in line with its expectations.”

Analyst Cantor Fitzgerald hailed the “strong momentum” in earnings and online sales, adding that the relaunched Ann Harvey brand would be a good fit for the company, which should also pursue men’s wear as a potential avenue of growth.

“Bonmarché is operating in a market that, while niche, is an underserved, with significant growth potential,” added Conlumino consultant Greg Bromley.

“This will not prevent it from facing the same struggles as its wider clothing peers against the effects of discounting or the weather; however it looks increasingly well placed to cope.”