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March 24, 2020

Moss Bros shuts shops and warns on FY results

Men's suits and formalwear retailer Moss Bros has temporarily closed all its stores and sounded a warning on its full-year revenue and profitability as a result of the coronavirus outbreak impacting trading.

By Hannah Abdulla

Men’s suits and formalwear specialist Moss Bros has temporarily closed all its stores and sounded a warning on its full-year revenue and profitability as a result of the coronavirus outbreak impacting trading.

The retailer says that although the initial impact of Covid-19 was “relatively benign,” there has been a significant reduction in footfall across its stores and orders in its hire business in the last week.

“The group recognises that Covid-19 could result in a sharper decline in trading performance if mass gatherings (such as Ascot) are voluntarily canceled or prohibited,” it said in an announcement to the stock exchange. The news saw shares in the company drop (4.27%).

It also expects the effects of the coronavirus outbreak “will result in a significant reduction in revenue and profitability for the year ending 30 January 2021 (“FY21″), however it is too early to determine the precise quantum at this stage. Prior to 13 March 2020 the group had been trading as expected.”

It added it is managing the business to protect profitability and is taking all necessary action to reduce costs and conserve cash. 

“With these actions, the group believes that it has the ability to withstand significant revenue decline through to the beginning of the second half of FY21. The group also has a strong management team in place and has consistently demonstrated that it can adapt and respond quickly to changing market conditions. Over the longer term, the board remains confident in the strategy and believes the group is well-positioned to benefit from the normalisation and growth of the UK retail market.”

Its warning comes as several UK retailers have reported the negative financial impact on their business from the coronavirus outbreak. Next has warned it could lose up to GBP1bn (US$1.15bn) in sales as the coronavirus impacts demand, while Marks & Spencer said it is cutting clothing orders by GBP100m and preparing for some store closures.

Click here for additional insight on the coronavirus outbreak: How coronavirus is impacting the global clothing industry.

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