N Brown, the struggling retail group, has received a much-needed boost with the launch of its new sustainable womenswear brand, Anise, and the release of its full-year results update. The company has integrated Anise into its JD Williams offering, which has garnered positive attention from consumers and investors alike. In addition, the annual figures showed growth in N Brown’s strategic brands, driven by an increase in customer numbers.

Although group revenue as a whole declined by 1.8% to £715.7 million in the 52-week period ending in late February, the company saw a notable rise in adjusted EBITDA for FY22, reaching £95 million, an increase of 11.9%. Adjusted pre-tax profit also experienced significant growth, rising by 46.6% to £43.1 million, while statutory pre-tax profit more than doubled to £19.2 million.

N Brown attributes the growth in its strategic brands to the strong performance of its clothing and footwear offerings, as well as the positive impact of strategic changes. The revenue from strategic brand products saw an impressive growth rate of 9.9%. The company also reported an increase in active customers for the first time in four years, which it attributes to improved product offerings and targeted marketing efforts. N Brown invested in marketing to enhance its strategic brands’ propositions and increase brand awareness. Notably, it enlisted popular celebrities Amanda Holden and Davina McCall as brand ambassadors for JD Williams. Furthermore, N Brown’s in-house studio improved its ability to effectively showcase products through customised content at more cost-effective rates.

The retail group is making progress in boosting its digital business, and its strategy to simplify its brand portfolio is yielding positive results. By closing down underperforming brands such as House of Bath and High and Mighty and integrating Figleaves into Simply Be, N Brown has focused on developing and raising awareness of its strategic brands. It also capitalized on the increased demand for homeware during the pandemic by adding a Home category to its offerings.

Despite facing a significant decline in its share price in recent years, N Brown experienced a 5% increase following the positive news. CEO Steve Johnson expressed satisfaction with the company’s progress in its transformation into a focused digital business. Looking ahead, N Brown will concentrate its growth efforts on its strongest market potentials, namely Simply Be, JD Williams, and Jacamo. The company plans to unlock these opportunities through the launch of new websites in the coming months. However, N Brown acknowledges that it is still a work in progress and recognizes the need for further improvements.

Useful links:

1. N Brown Official Website
2. JD Williams Women’s Clothing