Dune London profits hit by weak pound, cost pressures
Mounting cost pressures such as increases to the national minimum wage and business rates, as well as higher production costs had a negative impact on Dune London’s profits for the year ended 31 January 2018, with the company revealing a 34% decline to £5.3 million.
This was despite group sales growing 6.6% to £184.2 million, primarily driven by the footwear chain’s e-commerce channel. Online sales now account for 35% of retail revenue within the UK and Europe, but the company said like-for like sales were also positive across all key retail distribution channels.
Dune London is one of several UK retailers feeling the effects of the consumer spending squeeze and last year’s fall in the pound. The company has also warned about the structural issues within some department store groups, as it operates 232 concessions in other retail stores, including House of Fraser and Debenhams.
Some of these concessions face an uncertain future, as Debenhams has announced plans to close 50 stores and House of Fraser is shutting 31 of its 59 locations.
However, Dune said its store portfolio is in “excellent shape”, with nearly all stores having been refurbished in recent years and most stores located in high traffic locations. The brand is also looking at opening more outlet shops after identifying “significant opportunities” in the off price market.
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