Sales grow online at Bonmarché, but fall in-store

Bonmarché said online sales grew strongly over its latest financial year – but that store sales fell.

The women’s value retailer today reported, in a trading update, that ecommerce

sales grew by 34.5% in the year to March 31, while store-only sales were 4.5% down on last time. Like-for-like sales, which strip out the effect of store openings and closures, fell by 1.5%, and total sales by 0.5%. In the last quarter of the year, total sales were 6.2% down, as store sales fell by 11.1% and online grew by 31.2%.

The retailer sells online and through 325 stores – down from 327 stores a year earlier.

Helen Connolly, chief executive of Bonmarché, said: “As anticipated, trading conditions in the final quarter of our financial year remain challenging and against this backdrop I am pleased we have delivered an increase in the full year profit before tax compared to last year.

“While we expect the market to remain difficult, our focus will be on continuing to improve our proposition to customers through a number of self-help initiatives, which we expect to drive further progress for the business during the new financial year.”

Bonmarché has been pursuing a recent strategy of investing online as shoppers stay away from stores. But while growth has come online, factors such as the ongoing move from the high street to online seem to have hit overall sales.

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