• Group sales up 4.1% in 18 weeks to December 31
  • Total retail sales up 5.9%
  • Sales up 10% at its ‘power brands’
  • Online sales up 12%

JD Williams, Simply Be and Jacamo owner N Brown has posted a sales rise over the busy Christmas period with “standout performances” in ladieswear and Simply Be.

The group’s overall sales increased 4.1% in the 18 weeks to December 31, while retail sales grew 5.9%.

N Brown’s so-called power brands – JD Williams, Simply Be and Jacamo – generated a 10% year-on-year sales increase during the period.

The sales lift was bolstered, N Brown said, by Cyber fortnight, which resulted in a record-breaking two weeks for the business.

The fashion retailer, which has been focused on improving its digital offer, said online revenue grew 12% during the period and now accounts for 70% of the group’s income.

N Brown chief executive Angela Spindler said: “I am pleased to report a good trading period, with standout performances from ladieswear and the Simply Be brand.

“All key brands and categories grew in the period, including our traditional titles which had diluted performance in the first half. We are benefitting from improved trading agility as a result of the transformational changes we have made.”

Looking ahead

“In light of our trading performance, as we approach the year-end, we are comfortable with current market expectations,” Spindler said. 

However, the fashion boss warned that the business is operating in “a challenging period for the industry” and is ”still in the process of delivering some key elements” of its transformation plan.

At the retailer’s half year, N Brown’s pre-tax profits tumbled 19.7% to £31.6m, despite a 7.5% uplift in online sales during the period, and Spindler said N Brown was “not immune” to the challenges facing the fashion sector.

Angela Spindler will be on stage at Retail Week Live, the UK’s premier festival of retail and consumer commerce, taking place in London on March 8-9, 2017. The event attracts over 1,200 retail chiefs and leading business personalities who gather to experience the unique combination of networking, inspiring content, strategic thinking and innovation. To book your ticket visit: www.live.retail-week.com