Fashion group reveals flat like-for-likes
Alexon is considering selling its Envy chain after reporting flat group like-for-like sales for the 16 weeks to May 20.

The fashion group has appointed Hawkpoint to undertake a review of the menswear chain. The retailer said Envy was regaining credibility as a fashion retailer after the work done to make the own-brand ranges more commercial and to strengthen the branded offer.

At its AGM, Alexon said group gross margins were stronger, but warned that sales had declined in the past two weeks because of unpredictable weather.

It added that its young fashion chain Bay Trading continued to perform well, with sales and margins well ahead of last year. The shop opening programme is going ahead as planned and it aims to open 15 shops this year.

The group said: 'The action taken to improve range acceptability within Alexon brands is beginning to take effect, but the full benefits will not be seen until the second half. Reaction to the latest deliveries across all brands is encouraging.'

Seymour Pierce analyst Richard Ratner said: 'We believe [Bay Trading and menswear] are still struggling and, by the company's own admission, are unlikely to improve until the second half. The future of the menswear business is being reviewed. This would indicate a possible sale, but at what price? As far as we can remember, it cost Alexon more than£30 million. Although the rating may look cheap, it has had a very poor acquisition record since diversifying from womenswear.'