Quiz, the struggling omnichannel fashion retailer, has released its preliminary results for the year ending in March. The figures reveal that the company was already facing challenges before the current crisis, and the COVID-19 pandemic has further impacted its sales in the current financial year. Quiz experienced a significant decline in total sales, plummeting by 73% to £17.2 million in the six months leading up to September, as both stores and concessions were closed for several months.

In the previous year, Quiz saw a drop in revenue from £130.9 million to £118 million on an underlying basis, and gross profit fell from £79.4 million to £71.1 million. The company recorded an operating loss of £28.7 million, with underlying operating loss and pre-tax loss of £3.7 million, due to “adjusting items” related to asset write-downs and bad debts resulting from customer administrations.

The decline in group revenue by 10% was attributed to challenges faced throughout the year and a sharp decrease in sales in March due to COVID-19 disruptions. Online revenue also decreased by 9% to £37.5 million, mainly driven by lower sales via third-party websites. However, sales volumes through the Quiz website remained consistent with the previous year. International sales dropped by 5% to £21.8 million, primarily due to declining revenues from stores and concessions in the Republic of Ireland and the discontinuation of certain franchise sales.

Quiz faced setbacks with a 12% decline in revenue from UK stores and concessions, totaling £58.7 million. The group gross margin also fell slightly from 60.7% to 60.3%, reflecting increased provisions made against slow-moving stock. Despite these challenges, Quiz has taken steps to secure its future. The company extended its existing £3.5 million banking facilities until October 2021 and implemented store restructurings to reduce future rental costs and introduce more flexible leases. Quiz has also decided to exit the Spanish market.

In response to recent scandals in the retail industry, Quiz conducted a thorough review of its ethical auditing processes. The company is committed to ensuring compliance with its ethical code of practice throughout its supply chain and has implemented measures to strengthen its procedures accordingly.

Despite the challenging trading conditions, Quiz remains optimistic about its prospects. The company has enough cash to continue operating and believes that its store restructuring will lead to a more flexible and economically viable store portfolio. CEO Tarak Ramzan expressed confidence in the strength of the brand and emphasized the importance of rebalancing the product offering to meet the changing lifestyles of customers. Quiz aims to capitalize on the demand for its trademark occasionwear once restrictions on social events are eased and plans to leverage its omnichannel business model for long-term success.

Useful links:
1. Quiz official website
2. Retail Gazette article on Quiz’s preliminary results