Home shopping specialist weathers the storm
Like-for-like sales at N Brown's core home shopping business rose 11.1 per cent in the 20 weeks to July 14.

Ahead of its AGM today, the home shopping specialist said it had not been hit as hard by recent bad weather as many high street chains. Online sales soared 42 per cent in the period

N Brown group chief executive Alan White said: 'The hot weather in April got us off to a good start and, although high summer stock has been affected by the wet weather in May and June, [sales of] our ranges in outerwear and knitwear have gone up.'

White also said that he is not too concerned at present about rising interest rates, because the older age demographic of N Brown's customers - on average 58 years old - are less likely to be tied to large mortgage repayments.

However, the gross margin was affected by changes in N Brown's credit policy, which led to more bad debts and a 1.3 per cent fall in gross margin.