Shoe Zone has reported a 100% development in online sales since June, although this has not avoided a considerable fall in earnings due to the effect of the Covid-19 pandemic.
In a trading upgrade for the 52 weeks to 5 October 2020, the shoe merchant exposed that in-store sales considering that resuming in June declined 20% year-on-year. This performance, along with the closure of its whole store estate throughout the UK’s across the country lockdown from 23 March to 15 June, means it expects to report a pre-tax loss for the year in the series of £& pound; 10-12 million.
And Shoe Zone is expecting a continued period of difficulty following the introduction of new across the country lockdowns in Wales and Ireland, in which non-essential stores are being required to shut.
The business included it now has an overall of 460 stores throughout its estate, having closed 40 in the period, and cautioned of prospective closure of 45 more in the 12 months following the planned reintroduction of the “antiquated” business rates system in April 2021.
Shoe Zone will likewise not be paying dividends in this financial year as it is prioritizing debt repayments.
Anthony Smith, the primary executive of Shoe Zone commented: “Shoe Zone has ended an extremely challenging year with a robust strategy and adequate funding in place to ensure the future survival of the organization. The remarkable growth in digital sales since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic shows the flexibility of our operating model and follows the choice to develop a self-governing Digital department in 2019. Nevertheless, it is extremely hard at this stage to offer significant assistance on the future outlook, given the material unpredictability in the larger economy.”
In June, Shoe Zone reported a 31.9% increase in online sales in the six months to 4 April as it pursued a method of being more digitally focused even prior to the pandemic.