N Brown sales down by a quarter

N Brown Group has reported a 25 per cent decline in sales over the last six weeks and is sought new funding from lenders to survive in a “very uncertain environment”.

The group, which owns JD Williams, Jacamo and Simply Be, saw apparel sales fall 48 per cent during period, although home and gifting sales were up by 74 per cent.

It reported getting £50 million from the government’s Coronavirus Large Business Interruption Scheme, along with securing "support from both our banking partners".

Attempts to cut costs during the period included an 80 per cent reduction in marketing expenditure, furloughing 30 per cent of staff, recruitment and salary freezes, a voluntary pay reduction from the management board and senior leadership team, and deferring tax payments.

Chief executive Steve Johnson explained: “In what remains a very uncertain environment, we have been balancing our number one priority of looking after our colleagues, with a commitment to continue serving our loyal customers, whilst ensuring the business has the resilience to navigate the various challenges we are facing."

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