N Brown boss Angela Spindler said today that the retailer is “done” with its transformation plan and is now ready for growth.
Spindler spoke on the day of N Brown’s full-year results, when it revealed that despite sales rising, profits had been hit by investment and one-off charges relating to financial services customer compensation.
She told Retail Week: “We are now an online retailer in every respect, there is no more transition – we’re done with that. Now, we have to keep evolving to remain competitive.”
Spindler arrived at the retailer, a former catalogue business, in 2013 and was tasked with making it a digital-first, sustainable business. The consequent level of investment has severely made an impact on profits.
‘Costs will decline’
Today, Spindler said that costs would begin to shrink but declined to predict when profits would begin to grow.
“We are still seeing challenges,” she said. “But from trading perspective we are seeing positive news coming through, and we will see cost impacts unwind as we move forward.
“We have hit the bottom [of profit levels], bumped along and we should see positive, sustainable profit growth moving forward.”
‘Tough’ first quarter
Spindler said that she was “pleased” with the full-year results in general, calling out a “tough” first quarter which was succeeded by an “accelerated recovery” in the second half.
She poured cold water on the potential disruption that some retailers fear the snap election will cause to trading.
““Everyone talks about a challenging backdrop but when have we not had that?” she asked. “Consumers usually become distracted on the day of an election but I think the big story is still how we exit Europe and the impact that may have.”