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For the 26 weeks ended 1 April 2023, Shoe Zone reported a revenue increase of 7.9% from £69.9m ($87m) to £75.4m ($93.8m), boosted by digital sales growth of 12.7% and the company’s ongoing strategy.

Gross profit remained flat at £13.6m, while income from operations fell to £1.87m from £3.66m last year. Net earnings dropped to £1.5m from £2.9m a year earlier.

Anthony Smith, chief executive of Shoe Zone, explained: “The company delivered a robust and positive performance in the period against a backdrop of consumer uncertainty and macroeconomic volatility. We ended the period trading out of 336 stores, which is a reduction of 52 compared to 12 months ago and 24 from last year-end.”

The company is now trading out of 226 ‘Original’ stores, 66 Hybrids and 44 Big Box. Shoe Zone said it is actively working to relocate and refit further stores in the second half of the year, together with a number of stores currently in the pipeline, opening before Christmas.

The company shared that its strategic update included accelerating the refit and relocation programme, along with further investment in its digital and head office infrastructure. Shoe Zone said all of these are key to its strategy, and the company expects to spend approximately 3-4% of revenue annually on capital projects.

Digital revenues grew by 12.7% as the company continues to invest in new product lines and additional brands. This, along with enhancing Shoe Zone’s platform, which includes the introduction of a new returns portal, the development of a mobile App and additional payment options are all efforts to improve customer experience as per the company.

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Smith added: “Part of the success of our digital operation is our very efficient returns process, which is complemented by our extensive network of stores. We have a returns rate of 11.9% and the vast majority of these are returned to the store, hence why our physical store network is critical to our future success.”