Bonmarché plans to open up to 25 stores and concessions this year, returning to locations before it fell into administration with former owner Peacocks.
The value fashion womenswear retailer plans to open five standalone stores and 15 to 20 concessions within garden centres and department stores in the current financial year. This week it opened its first shop-in-shop within a Beales’ store in Rochdale.
Bonmarche fell into administration with its former owner Peacocks in 2012 but was immediately rescued after it was bought in a pre-pack deal by private equity group Sun European. It then floated on the AIM stock exchange in November last year.
Bonmarché chief executive Beth Butterwick said: “Pre-Sun European we had 395 stores and post-Sun European we had 265 stores so we know from those old stores that there are about 30 strategic locations where we worked well.”
Butterwick added that the locations were mainly in tourist, seaside and market towns.
She said Bonmarché has chosen to push ahead with more concessions than standalone stores as “the capex is relatively low cost against sales”.
Bonmarché is also set to launch the Ann Harvey plus-size brand, which is owned by Sun European, into 25 of its stores by the end of July.
Bonmarché today revealed pre-tax profit, excluding exceptionals related to IPO costs, rocketed 85.3% to £11.2m in the year to March 29, 2014. Sales increased 11.9% to £164.3m and like-for-like sales surged 10.4%.
Butterwick said the strength of the retailer’s like-for-like sales and its online sales, which rocketed 84%, show that its customers are shopping across all channels. She added that sales through the Ideal World TV shopping channel have jumped 7%.
Bonmarché made product and price enhancements over the year. It had built “back the sales gaps” in categories such as coats, blouses and skirts with sales increasing £2.4m in these departments.
It has also developed categories where its mix was lower than the average for the market, such as dresses, tops and accessories. These departments increased their sales by £4.3m and their share by 2.6% over the year.
It also developed its ’first price, right price’ stance which it said had improved sales by £6m in its core depratments over the year.
Bonmarché full-year profits soar as it rolls out garden centre concessions
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Bonmarché plans to return to pre-administration locations as it grows estate