Alexon out of favour

Total sales for British retail group Alexon have fallen 8.5 percent to £180.8 million in the first half, due to particularly poor performances from its Dolcis, Menswear and Mandolin brands. Last week, the group announced it would discontinue the year-old Mandolin concept in order to curb damages. The failing format has cost the company £5 million this year, including another £2 million odd related to closure costs. The shops will either be sold or transferred to the group’s other formats at the end of this year.

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Overall like-for-like sales during the period ended 29 July dropped 6.9 percent, while operating profit plummeted to £751,000 from £7.8 million during the same period last year. Chief executive John Osborne said all four divisions – Alexon Brands, Dolcis, Menswear and Mandolin – suffered the consequences of a “challenging trading environment”, adding that margins were down as a result of higher levels of promotional activity and the need to clear terminal stocks.

Like-for-like sales for the first eleven weeks of the current half were down 8 percent, due to the warm September weather and soft consumer demand. The group did notice an improvement in the last two weeks since the weather has turned. Osborne said he expects the brands to have recovered from this dip by spring 2007.

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