Adams chief executive David Carter-Johnson has vowed to return the struggling childrenswear retailer to profitability by ditching its heavy discounting strategy.
Carter-Johnson said the retailer would deploy significantly fewer buy-one-get-one-half-price discount promotions and long Sale periods, which it used to rely heavily on grow sales. “Adams had been making sales for sales’ sake to the detriment of profits, which moving forward we need to keep strong,” he said.
In February, John Shannon, ex-chairman of Stead & Simpson and Country Casuals, bought 270 of Adam’s UK stores and more than 100 international outlets in a pre-pack administration deal. Carter-Johnson said he hoped that by the anniversary of the buy-out, Adams will be back in the black.
Adams has increased its gross profit by 5 per cent since the February buy-out, following£8 million of cost cuts. Its like-for-like sales have dipped into negative territory over the same period, but Carter-Johnson says this had been budgeted for.
Adams has largely avoided the difficulties of many high street chains over the wet summer, as its back-to-school push kicked in. The competitive back-to-school market is one area where the retailer has kept to its old buy-one-get-one-half-price strategy.
“We are really starting to see green shoots in this turnaround,” Carter Johnson said. “I would not want to over-promise and under-achieve, but it is a positive story so far.”
Internationally, Adams will continue to expand through its franchise businesses and will open its first Indian stores with existing partner Jawad in Mumbai, Ahamabad and Gurgaon before the end of the
year. It will also open a store this week in the Malaysian capital Kuala Lumpur.