Shoe retailer Stead & Simpson is to close 90 stores following a “thorough review” of the loss-making business.

Owner Shoe Zone, which acquired Stead & Simpson five years ago, is to close unprofitable stores across the chain, according to The Scotsman.

Shoe Zone marketing and property director Naomi Shefford said: “In locations where we have two stores on the same high street, or where stores were not profitable for us, we had to make a business decision to ensure the company continues to be successful.”

Tyler, the company that Stead & Simpson stores trade under, made a pre-tax loss of £704,000 in the year to 1 January, 2011, while sales fell to £53.5m, from £59.3m the previous year, amid “difficult” trading conditions.

The company ended the financial year with 230 Stead & Simpson stores.

The retailer had more than 400 stores in 1999, before Bank of Scotland backed a £50m management buyout of the business in 2005. However, the chain went into administration three years later, when it was acquired by its current owner Shoe Zone.

The Shoe Zone group made a pre-tax profit of £9.9m in the year to January 2011, down from £15.3m the previous year.