N Brown, the parent company of popular brands such as JD Williams, Simply Be, and Jacamo, has been grappling with significant challenges over the past few years, and these challenges have persisted into 2020. In an update on its performance for the six months ending in August, the company disclosed that product sales had dropped by over 20%. However, there are signs of improvement as the company witnessed a better trajectory in product revenue during the second quarter. This positive development can be attributed to the fact that an impressive 92% of N Brown’s product revenue now comes from online sources, indicating a shift in consumer behavior towards e-commerce.

Additionally, N Brown announced that its financial services cash collection rates have remained consistent with the previous year, while operating costs have decreased, and debt levels have been reduced. Based on these factors, the company maintains its confidence in its trading performance, emphasizing that it aligns with their expectations.

During the first half of the year, N Brown experienced a 17.6% decline in group revenue, with product revenue plummeting by 20.5%. This decline was particularly pronounced in the first quarter, which saw a staggering fall of 28.8%, compared to a more moderate 12% decline in the second quarter. However, recent months have shown signs of improvement, with apparel sales rebounding from the weak levels experienced in mid-March. The demand for Home & Gift products has also remained strong, especially following the launch of the new Home Essentials brand on April 1. In the second quarter, all of N Brown’s Womenswear and Menswear brands performed better, with JD Williams and Jacamo delivering particularly positive results.

The company remains steadfast in its efforts to lower operational costs, with significant reductions observed in the second quarter. While a decrease in profits is anticipated, N Brown is confident that it can offset at least 75% of the gross profit decline through cost-saving measures.

Despite the challenges faced by N Brown in recent times, there are encouraging signs of sales recovery. By focusing on online sales and implementing cost-cutting initiatives, the company is effectively mitigating the impact of the demanding retail landscape. As consumers increasingly embrace online shopping, N Brown is well-positioned to take advantage of this trend and potentially drive further growth in the future.

Useful links:

1. N Brown Official Website
2. N Brown’s Fiscal 2020 Internet Sales Benefit from Digital Investment