Moss Bros’ like-for-likes fell during its full year as it slipped into the red with the business blaming deep discounting, falling footfall and stock shortages for its woes.
The business recorded a pre-tax loss of £4.2m, having reported £6.7m profit the previous year. It is the first time it has recorded a pre-tax loss on an adjusted level since 2010/11.
Like-for-likes dropped 4.3% in the year to January 26, 2019. Like-for-like hire sales were down 9.3% against weak comparables of -6.2% the previous year.
Total sales dropped 2.1% to £129m. Ecommerce sales rose 19.6% and now account for 14.5% of sales.
The business termed the year “challenging” and attributed its poor performance to deep discounting, stock shortages, falling footfall and unusual 2018 weather patterns.
It said the trading environment continued to be highly volatile with “the combined challenge of weak consumer demand and substantial external cost headwinds”, and while current trading strengthened in the first eight weeks of the new financial year, it remained volatile.
One bright spot was its custom tailoring service, Tailor Me, which increased in volume and value.
Chief executive Brian Brick said: “It has been an extremely challenging year for the business on many fronts, but I am confident that we have made significant progress in a number of areas of the business.
“In common with many UK retailers, we continue to anticipate an extremely challenging retail landscape, particularly within our physical stores, as a result of reduced footfall and rising costs.
“Alongside the macro trend of more retail transactions moving online, we expect the uncertain consumer environment and significant cost headwinds to continue.”