Quiz revenue slumps 73% as Covid store closures hammer sales
Fashion retailer Quiz reported a 73% slump in first half sales due to coronavirus-related store closures.
The company on Tuesday said revenue plunged to £17.2m as it swung to an underlying loss of £5.6m, compared to £0.3m profit a year ago.
Gross margin fell to 51.7% from 61.7%, reflecting a higher level of discounting.
Since the end of September, revenues continued to be hit by lower demand as social gathering restrictions were tightened along with store and concession closures, Quiz said. However, December sales were stronger than other months, it added.
The company completed a store restructuring resulting in lower rental costs and more flexible leases. By September 2020, its store estate comprised 55 stores in the UK and four in the Republic of Ireland. Five more UK stores have opened since.
"As with other omni-channel retailers, Quiz has faced significant challenges as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic," said chief executive Tarak Ramzan.
"We have taken a number of actions to protect our customers and people, preserve liquidity, and restructure the size and cost base of our store estate to adjust to the new normal of retail."
'Whilst we continue to rebalance our product offering towards more casual clothing reflecting near term customer demand, given our focus on occasion wear, demand for our products has been impacted significantly by the pandemic.'
'However, we remain confident in the strength of our brand and are highly confident that demand for the brand's trademark occasion wear will recover when restrictions on social events are eased.'