Home shopping retailer Flying Brands has completed a refinancing as its sales plunge.
The retail group, which operates brands including Flying Flowers and Flowers Direct, is to repay the balance of its £1.5m loan from the disposal of property. It sold its Glasshouse premises to rival Jersey Plants Direct.
The Glasshouse, which is used during Spring gardening season to grow bedding plants, was sold for £1.225m. Flying Brands will reorganise its remaining growing operation to maximise capacity although it may buy some of its plants from third party suppliers.The retailer sold part of its remaining premises, Retreat Farm, for £2.1m in September.
In its quarter to September 30, group sales – including from discontinued business – were £4.6m, down from £6m the year prior which it said was “significantly below management expectations”.
Its core bedding plants and Garden Centre Online businesses experienced suppressed demand in autumn due to the cool summer. The retailer said its margins were affected by the need to discount earlier than planned to stimulate sales and minimise stock surpluses.
Flying Brands’ gifts division was also down due to weak consumer spending. It said it was in the early stages of developing partnerships with other retailers that operate in similar markets or sell complementary products which are likely to deliver additional revenue for its gifts division in the next 12 months.
Stuart Dootson has replaced Anthony Gee as group finance director. Gee resigned for personal reasons.