Blacks Leisure, the outdoor clothing and equipment retailer, has revealed a 1.8 per cent drop in like-for-like sales in the first 19 weeks of its financial year.
The retailer will say at its annual general meeting today that “the business is performing satisfactorily”. In the 19 weeks to July 11, like-for-like sales in its outdoor division – which includes the Millets and Blacks Outdoor fascias - fell 1.6 per cent. Its boardwear division, comprising the Freespirit and O’Neill brands, dropped 3.2 per cent.
The retailer said that the “relative improvement” in the performance of boardwear is partly the result of the conversion of seven boardwear stores to the outdoor format earlier in the year.
Blacks, which has been trying to exit its boardwear operations, is still in advanced negotiations to renew its working capital facility with Lloyds bank.
The retailer will say at the AGM that the board has “confidence that this process will be completed rapidly to enable the group to focus on the continued delivery of the business turnaround plan”.
Last week, Retail Week revealed that the retailer has begun testing new store formats to try and broaden its appeal, including a higher-end fashion format called air.land.&sea, a hard discount format and specialised technical format.
Meanwhile, non-executive directors Claude Littner and Andrew Mallett will step down from the board at the AGM today.