Value retailer Original Factory Shop is to focus on growth in fashion and footwear after revealing a bumper set of sales and profits for the year to March 28.
Chief executive Angela Spindler said she is “confident of another good year” in 2010 as the retailer revs up its fashion lines and lays out plans for 500 stores by 2020.
In the year to March 28, earnings before tax rocketed 31% to £14.7m while like-for-likes increased 7%. Revenue jumped 35% to £132m. Since the year end, Spindler said current trading was “on target” but added that the retailer could “do with a bit more warm weather”.
Spindler said the business had benefited from advances made in fashion, “particularly footwear”. She also said developments made in snacks and health and beauty had helped improve sales.
Fashion and footwear presently account for 55% of the mix, while homewares account for 37%.
Spindler said the proportion of sales coming from fashion in the present year would “stay flat or grow a bit this year”, adding that footwear is “a key differentiator”.
The retailer will focus on footwear range development this year and tweak its merchandising in time for autumn.
The 134-store retailer opened 30 stores in the year and plans another 35 openings this year. Spindler ruled out acquiring businesses to drive growth. She added that the retailer’s consistency was “most pleasing”, with this year yielding the second year of growth in earnings before tax above 25%.
The value retailer launched its own-brand womenswear range, Mimosa, at the beginning of March. The “relaxed casual range” is aimed at 40-plus shoppers - Original Factory Shop’s target customers.
The retailer has begun a programme to create “brighter, lighter, more contemporary” shops with improved navigation. Three were revamped last year at a cost of £50,000 each, with a further 12 expected this year.