Shoe Zone is a value-oriented footwear retailer that went public in 2014.
It has been streamlining its store portfolio of late, focusing on the development of larger format (Big Box) stores, which are more profitable, as well as developing a more premium Hybrid format for its high street estate, as part of an increased focus on multichannel.
Its store closure programme has been accelerated as a result of the pandemic, with the network reduced from 500 at the end of 2019 to just over 400 by the end of the 2021 financial year in October. The retailer also temporarily pressed the pause button on its Big Box opening programme, with the total at just over 50 stores, as all non-essential investment was halted after it swung to a £14.6m pre-tax loss in the difficult 2020 financial year.
While total sales continued to decline in FY2021, dropping back by 2.8% to £119.1m after a 24.4% slump the year before, the retailer has moved back into the black at both the operating and pre-tax level.
Benefiting from the accelerated transition to online shopping during the pandemic, the retailer’s new autonomous digital department has seen sales virtually treble since the pandemic hit, accounting for just over 25% of total sales in FY2021.