‘Worse than the recession’: Bonmarche’s grim buying and selling replace


Retailer Bonmarche has mentioned present buying and selling circumstances are worse than through the recession because it warned that prolonged Brexit uncertainty is dragging on gross sales.

Shares within the cut-price womenswear chain tumbled by as a lot as 50% – closing 48% decrease – because it issued its second revenue alert in lower than three months, forecasting that it might stoop to a full-year loss.

The retailer mentioned gross sales throughout Black Friday week, when it had hoped to see pent-up demand unleashed as customers took benefit of reductions, had as an alternative been “extraordinarily poor”.

It now expects to report full-year outcomes that present someplace between zero revenue and a £4m loss.

Chief govt Helen Connolly mentioned: “The present buying and selling circumstances are unprecedented in our expertise and are considerably worse even than through the recession of 2008-9.

“I hope that within the fullness of time, our reduce to the forecast might show to have been overdone, however within the present market, this appears the suitable stance to undertake.”

Bonmarche places itself as a value fashion retailer. Pic: Bonmarche
Bonmarche is a price womenswear retailer

The warning comes after different retailers together with Superdry and Dixons Carphone have additionally pointed to uncertainty weighing on UK customers. Final week, the proprietor of vogue chain Primark warned of “difficult” gross sales throughout November.

Sports activities Direct and Home of Fraser boss Mike Ashley lately advised MPs that the excessive avenue confronted extinction with out radical motion to put it aside.

Bonmarche, which has greater than 300 shops throughout the UK, mentioned its Black Friday efficiency steered that “client behaviour will not be following final yr’s sample, nor the sample of any yr now we have skilled beforehand”.

It added: “We consider that uncertainty surrounding Brexit is a major issue affecting demand and, subsequently, that it could not strengthen till the present interval of heightened uncertainty ends.

“As now we have no visibility of when issues will probably be resolved, now we have taken what we consider to be a cautious strategy to our forecast and assumed that gross sales is not going to see any vital enchancment earlier than the tip of March 2019.”

Bonmarché pencilled in a 12% fall in like-for-like gross sales for the present third quarter to the tip of December and a 1% fall for the fourth quarter.

The retailer had beforehand issued a revenue warning in September blamed on weak excessive avenue circumstances in addition to heat climate delaying demand for autumn ranges.

It mentioned at the moment that it anticipated underlying full-year income of £5.5m.