Shoe Zone has posted a strong trading performance as shoppers look for value during the cost-of-living crisis.

Sales grew to £75.4m for the 26 weeks to April 1, 2023, up £7.9% on the same period last year. 

Inflation and the National Living Wage increase resulted in an adjusted pre-tax profit of £2.5m, versus £3.1 last year, which was slightly above expectations.

The value retailer saw strong demand online, as ecommerce sales during the period grew to £14.3m, up 12.7%, which it said was underpinned by the addition of fresh product lines, a new returns portal and a mobile app with more payment options. 

Store revenues climbed to £61.1m from £57.2m last year, and the retailer said progress on its “refit and relocation” store update programme, which involves converting original stores to a new hybrid format, had been key to its strategy. 

It also hailed the growth of “big-box locations” as a success and said it had set a goal to open around 100 out-of-town locations. 

Shoe Zone chief executive Anthony Smith said: “Shoe Zone delivered a robust and positive performance in the period against a backdrop of consumer uncertainty and macroeconomic volatility.

“Total revenues increased by 7.9% having traded out of 52 fewer stores compared to 12 months ago and digital revenue within this increased by 12.7%. The performance further demonstrates the resilience of our business and the success of our ongoing strategy.”