UK: French Connection "on right path" as Q1 sales rise
Like-for-like retail sales in the UK/Europe rose 5.6% in the first quarter
UK fashion retailer French Connection has said it is "on the right path", after booking first-quarter like-for-like sales growth, driven by product improvements and less discounting.
The company today (15 May) said like-for-like retail sales in the UK/Europe grew 5.6% for the 15 weeks to 10 May.
In line with its strategy to enhance brand equity and reduce discounting, UK/Europe retail did not go on mid-season sale this year in April and early May. Adjusting for this, underlying like-for-like sales actually increased 9.1% year-on-year.
French Connection closed two non-contributing stores in the UK during the period, and plans to close further stores this year.
Its order book for autumn/winter 2014 is ahead of this time last year.
But in North America, weakness in the apparel market continues to impact business, both in wholesale and retail. The company expects the region to trade below expectations for the remainder of the year.
"I'm pleased to see continued momentum in our performance which demonstrates that we are on the right path," said chairman and CEO Stephen Marks. "We are also encouraged by the early response to our winter collection."
French Connection and Foot Locker have become the latest firms to be named and shamed under a new scheme by the UK Government for paying workers less than the minimum wage....
Fashion retail business French Connection cut its full-year operating loss, but saw retail sales tumble by 12% on the back of store closures....
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