Fenwick has swung to a loss after suffering a slump in sales during a “challenging year for retail”.
The family-owned department store chain posted a pre-tax loss of £44.2m in the year to January 25, Retail Week can reveal. That compared to a profit of £2m the previous year.
Operating profit before exceptional items tumbled 84.1% to £7.8m. But taking into account one-off costs such as write-downs in the value of its stores, Fenwick booked an operating loss of £43.7m.
Fenwick’s bottom line was dented by further investment into its three-year transformation plan and a 13.6% drop in gross sales to £355m. The retailer blamed the fall on a highly promotional market, the ongoing shift to online and “increasingly fragile consumer confidence” sparked by ongoing Brexit uncertainty.
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