Womenswear retailer Monsoon Accessorize has posted a dip in profits for FY2023 as lower demand caused by the ongoing cost-of-living crisis took its toll.


Monsoon Accessorize says some product categories are “rebounding” as cost inflation eases

Monsoon parent company, Adena Brands Ltd, posted EBITDA of £20m for the full year to August 26, 2023, down £4.4m on the previous year.

Group sales for the year dropped by 4% year on year to £248m, which Monsoon said was the result of a franchise partner change in Saudi Arabia as well as a post-pandemic decline in demand for the retailer’s childrenswear following the category’s Covid “boom”.

Retail like-for-like sales in the UK were up 4%, while sales at Accessorize and Monsoon womenswear rose 11% and 6%, respectively.

Group sales have been hit by a “more challenging environment” and a combination of weaker online sales, unseasonable weather, cost inflation and lower demand due to the ongoing cost-of-living crisis.

Monsoon said it remains focused on growing its elevated womenswear products and launching a “refreshed” range of childrenswear. It also confirmed its plans to continue building its bricks-and-mortar portfolio with more than 20 store openings planned this year, and Europe-wise, its “renewed focus” on the Italian market.

With an eye to the Accessorize brand, the retailer said it will “continue to build on its successful core categories” while testing an expansion of its current offering.

Milestones ahead

Monsoon Accessorize chief executive Nick Stowe said: “Over the past year, we faced an increasingly difficult trading landscape that has persisted into the current financial period. However, our recent restructuring has positioned us well and we have continued to invest, resulting in better product, expanded distribution, and a much-improved technology platform compared to a year ago.

“Our Monsoon women’s line has taken another major step forward, and we are broadening our childrenswear offer. Accessorize’s focus on its core product and a never-out-of-stock programme has yielded strong results. New store performance has been robust, and we are testing multiple Monsoon and Accessorize formats, part of our commitment to growing our retail. In our digital business, our marketing efficiency is improving, we are revamping our loyalty program, and extending our third-party marketplace presence.

“Our international business is evolving positively, particularly with growth in our European stores and with a successful franchise transition in Saudi Arabia. And behind the scenes we have seamlessly implemented a major ERP system transition, updating our technology platform and reducing risk.

“Despite ongoing retail challenges entering Spring-Summer 2024, we are seeing early signs of improvement: certain product categories are rebounding, cost inflation is stabilising, and shipping disruptions are easing.

“While we anticipate another demanding year, we are excited for what’s ahead: beautiful new clothes and accessories, enhanced store experiences, continued support for Turquoise Mountain in Afghanistan to mark the 30th anniversary of the Monsoon Accessorize Trust, and a celebration of the 40th anniversary of Accessorize.”