Leicester-based footwear retailer Shoe Zone is making “good progress” despite a difficult period for the clothing and footwear sector, according to its chief executive.
Although the Group’s interim results for the six months to 2nd April 2016 revealed that revenue decreased from £78.2m to £74.6m, reflecting the closure of 23 loss making and temporary stores, Shoe Zone’s product gross margin improved to 61.1%, and store portfolio improvements saw 53 Grade 1 stores created during the period – part of an ongoing strategy at the firm.
The company also reported efficiency savings thanks to significant investment in its Leicester distribution centre.
Anthony Smith, chief executive of Shoe Zone, said: “We have continued to make good progress with our store portfolio upgrade and rationalisation programme and I am pleased with the performance of the Group in what was another difficult period for the clothing and footwear industry. The Grade 1 format increased by 53 stores in the period and further additions will be made in the second half.
“We are excited to be launching our ‘Big Box’ format in three locations in August. This will allow Shoe Zone to access the important out of town market, creating a new avenue for growth. We will provide an update on this trial at the Full Year results in January 2017.
“The Group has traded in line with management’s expectations since the period end and the Board continues to look to the future with confidence”.