Retailer cites store closures for decline but points to improved margins and losses

Jessops sees sales slide

Jessops has seen its sales slump by 24.7 per cent over the past six months after it shut 81 stores last year; however, the retailer has remained positive saying that the closures have allowed it to reduce its operating loss for the period.

The retailer, which has making a loss for the past couple of years, told investors that while like-for-like sales had dropped by five per cent during the period, it had managed to more than half its losses from the £24.7 million during the same period in 2007, to £11.2 million.

It put much of the slump in sales down to the closure of 81 under-performing stores and the shutting down of non-core internet operations.

Speaking about the results, Jessops’ executive chairman David Adams said: "While the economic and retail environment remains very challenging, the business is on a sounder footing. Although like-for-like sales are down, our focus on profitable sales means that this is compensated for in the increase in gross margin rate.

"We have also put in place actions to reduce our cost base, the net effect of these points mean we now expect to make a small loss for the year before non-recurring charges and financing fees."

The firm is now entering the second phase of its regeneration, which will see the opening of several new format stores including Jessops Lite, a store aimed at sales of digital cameras.

Source: Retail Week

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