Fashion retailer Quiz has reported deepening losses as rolling store closures due to pandemic restrictions hammered its revenues.

QUIZ Arndale store

In its preliminary results for the year ending March 31, Quiz reported underlying losses before tax of £9.6m compared with losses of £3.1m the previous year.

The retailer also reported a 66% fall year on year in revenues to £40m, as rolling coronavirus restrictions over the period shuttered stores and concessions. 

Gross profit at the retailer also fell to £21m, down from £71m the previous year, while gross margins decreased to 53% from 60% due to physical retail closures. 

Quiz said it had used the pandemic to take “decisive actions” in reducing its cost base by 47%.

The retailer reduced its store portfolio during the period, focusing instead on more prime locations, and slashed its rental cost base. The retailer said its rents are now performance-based and more flexible than before. 

Quiz also noted green shoots after the reported period, with a “gradual improvement in sales” and the removal of socialising restrictions since April getting trading back to almost pre-pandemic levels. 

The retailer said in the six months to August 31 it had made £31m in sales. 

Moving forward, Quiz said it would focus on generating revenues from its stores and website, rather than through concessions or other third parties. 

Quiz founder and chief executive Tarak Ramzan said: “Against a backdrop of highly challenging trading conditions during the year – including the enforced closures of stores and concessions for substantial periods and the cancellation of social events that are a key driver for demand of Quiz’s trademark occasion wear – we have taken decisive actions to position the business to return to long-term profitable growth, including reducing the size of our store estate, decreasing costs and maintaining very tight cash management.

“We have continued to invest in our own ecommerce channels as we optimise our omnichannel model. We remain confident in the strength and appeal of Quiz as an occasionwear-led brand, as has been evidenced by the increase in demand and positive trends across our operational KPIs as social events returned during the summer.

“This continues to underpin the board’s confidence in our ability to continue to improve performance and achieve profitable growth as more normal trading patterns return.”