Moss Bros’s revamp has helped attract a younger customer as the retailer ups its multichannel credentials with the launch of delivery service Moss Premier.
Brian Brick, chief executive of Moss Bros, said a more contemporary offer combined with a store refit had helped it woo a younger audience.
He said: “These customers are critical for the business. Every retailer needs to be finding new customers. If we can get them in at that age and they’re happy, they will come back to us when they have their first job interview and throughout their careers.”
The retailer has revamped 49 of its 133 stores to a more “contemporary” format, which is part of a drive to make the retailer more “modern”.
Brick said: “Historically, people look at us and think of us as a hire company, very old-fashioned and traditional. We’re working hard to change that.”
The retailer accelerated its store refurbishment programme during its first half to July 26, which led to pre-tax profits dipping from £2.2m to £2m, despite like-for-likes advancing 6.4%.
Moss Bros group finance director Robin Piggott said it had experienced a 10% to 12% sales uplift in revamped stores since the programme began three years ago. It completed four refits during its first half and a further 14 are planned in the second half.
The formalwear retailer is also bringing more contemporary products into its range after the success of new premium products such as a Ted Baker morning suit. It plans to add the new Ted Baker ‘Lounge Lizard’ suit and is in talks with other brands to add more trend-led products to its range.
Brick said its “semi-formal” products, such as jackets at chinos, had been “doing well”.
Online was Moss Bros’s star performer over the half, with sales through the channel jumping 100%. Ecommerce now accounts for 6.8% of its sales. Brick said he aims to bring this in line with what others in the industry are achieving. “Other retailers are achieving 15% or 20% of sales online. There’s no reason why we shouldn’t be there,” he said.
As part of its drive to improve its multichannel offer, the retailer is introducing Moss Premier, a delivery subscription similar to Amazon Prime or Asos Premier, which offers customers unlimited next-day delivery. It has also introduced e-receipts in store and Login & Pay with Amazon.
Meanwhile, Brick said that international offered a “very big opportunity” for Moss Bros online. He said that although he wouldn’t rule out opening stores overseas, he is focused on revamping and growing its UK estate first.
Brick said the retailer is looking for new UK stores. “Over the next three years we’ll open quite a few stores. There are 20 to 30 towns or cities that if we can find the right stores, we’ll open there,” he said.